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University of Iowa News Release

May 22, 2003

Photos (from top): Jane Smiley, author of the recent novel Good Faith; cover of Tim Sandlin's novel Honey Don't; cover of Khaled Hosseini's novel Kite Runner.

Pulitzer-Winning UI Writers' Workshop Alumna Jane Smiley Reads On WSUI

"Live from Prairie Lights," the series of broadcast readings hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will feature:

--Wyoming novelist Tim Sandlin at 8 p.m. Monday, June 2.
--Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Jane Smiley, who won the Pulitizer Prize for "A Thousand Acres," at 8 p.m. Friday, June 6.
--Afghan fiction writer Khaled Hosseini at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 7.

All the readings will be free events in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen to the readings on the Internet at

Sandlin will read from his new novel, "Honey Don't," an offbeat comedy that drops a Texas cheerleader in the midst of Washington, D.C. political, financial and organized-crime intrigue.

The author of five novels, Sandlin has drawn favorable comparisons to Jack Kerouac, Tom Robbins, Richard Brautigan, Joseph Heller and even Garrison Keillor.

Smiley's new novel,"Good Faith," takes on the greed and manipulations of the real estate industry with the sort of sly, searing wit she applied to university life in "Moo."

Since graduating from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Smiley has taught at both the UI and Iowa State University, and she has written a dozen novels.

Critic Regina Marler wrote, "Since we live with the legacy of the self-serving 1980s, Smiley's novel seems as timely as if it were set in the present. Penetrating, readable fiction by one of our best writers and social critics."

A starred review in Booklist observed, "Smiley is fascinated by obsession, and all the jargon and arcane knowledge associated with risky pursuits, and she expertly reanimates the mad and venal, not to mention illegal and disastrous, financial finagling that drove the money-mad, coked-up eighties, providing a thrilling rear-view mirror look at that notoriously covetous time. But this expertly crafted and subtly suspenseful tale is also notable for its exuberant eroticism: Smiley's sex scenes, and there are many, are truly ravishing."

Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" an epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, takes readers from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. Hosseini is the son of a Kabul diplomat whose family was granted political asylum in the United States in 1980.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,