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Release: Jan. 31, 2003

'Live from Prairie Lights' Features IWP Veteran van Heerden

The "Live from Prairie Lights" series, hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will feature South African writer Etienne van Heerden 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. in the Prairie Lights book store at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Van Heerden, a veteran of the UI International Writing Program (IWP), will read from "The Long Silence of Mario Salviati," his magical-realist Afrikaans epic.

A Publishers Weekly preview of the translation, just released in the United States, concludes, "The bloom may be off the rose with regard to magic realism as a genre, but Van Heerden proves that there's plenty of life in the form."

Van Heerden is Hofmeyr Professor in the Department of Southern African Languages at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and founder-editor of LitNet, South Africa's largest multicultural online journal. A lawyer by training, he writes poetry, short stories and novels in Afrikaans, and his fiction has been translated into 10 languages.

Van Heerden was in residency at the IWP in the 1990s, and he returned last fall to present the Paul Engle Memorial Reading, in conjunction with the IWP's "New Media Poetry" conference.

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