The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 15, 2003

'Live from Prairie Lights' Features Pultizer Winner Eugenides

"Live from Prairie Lights," the series of broadcast readings hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library. Eugenides will read from his Pulitzer-winning novel, "Middlesex," a story about gender mythology and human history.

Other 8 p.m. broadcast readings that week will take place in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City:
-- adventurer Tony Horwitz on Monday, Sept. 22;
-- poet Dan Beachy-Quick, a graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop, on Tuesday, Sept. 23
-- educator Esme Codell on Wednesday, Sept. 24; and
-- long-time Prairie Lights staff member Kathleen Gleeson, who collaborated with the late UI faculty member Janusz Bardach on his memoirs of Nazi and Stalinist horrors, on Thursday, Sept. 25.

Listen to the readings -- America's only radio series of live readings -- on the internet at

Pultizer winner Horwitz travels the world and returns with dramatic stories of his adventures. His new book is "Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before." Horwitz is also the author of "Confederates in the Attic," "One for the Road: An Outback Adventure" and "Baghdad Without a Map: And Other Misadventures in Arabia."

Beachy-Quick, a former Iowa Arts Fellow who now teaches in the writing program of the Art Institute of Chicago, returns to Iowa City to read from his debut poetry collection, "North True South Bright." Ann Lauterbach wrote, "In 'North True South Bright,' the eye opens to sing, the mouth opens to see."

Poet and critic Donald Revell wrote, "In 'North True South Bright' Dan Beachy-Quick proves the compass of his eye to be perfectly exact, precisely true. These poems are finely made contemporaries of sunlight. And, like sunlight, their history is Now."

Beachy-Quick's poems and reviews have appeared in periodicals including Ploughshares, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, the Denver Quarterly, the Colorado Review, Volt, the New Republic, Chimera Review and Conduit.

Children's literature specialist Codell -- the host of the popular website and whose memoir "Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year" is considered a classic of the genre -- will read from her new book, "How to Get Your Child to Love Reading."

A Publishers Weekly preview described the book as "an exuberant treasure trove ... which will leave parents primed for their next trip to the library or bookstore."

Codell has been a keynote speaker for the International Reading Association and the American Library Association, as well as a "virtual" keynote speaker for the National Education Association's "Stay Afloat!" online conference for first-year teachers. She has also appeared on CBS's This Morning, CNN, NPR and C-Span's "Booknotes." Her public radio work earned her first place for National Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association.

Gleeson, who first collaborated with Bardach on "Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag," will read from the recently released follow-up, "Surviving Freedom: After the Gulag."

Critic George Cohen explains, "Bardach picks up his story in March 1946, when he was released from the Kolyma labor camps in Siberia. In 1941, as a Soviet Army soldier, Bardach had been arrested by the KGB, court-martialed, and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor, one of millions seized in Stalin's reign of terror. Here Bardach, a Polish Jew, recounts his 1,000-mile journey to Moscow; his reunion with his brother, a diplomat in the Polish embassy there; and the trip to his hometown in Poland, desolate and filled with debris and rubble, but empty of Jews. He then studies at a medical institute in Moscow, experiences a new wave of rabid anti-Semitism, and returns to Poland in 1954. In 1972, he came to the U.S. Bardach's story is one of loneliness and loss as he struggles to create a new life."

A pioneering plastic surgeon in the repair of cleft lips and palates, Bardach was chair of the UI Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology and founded the Division of Plastic Surgery. He also wrote 14 textbooks on reconstructive surgery.

On the basis of his first novel, "The Virgin Suicides," both Granta and The New Yorker identified Eugenides as an American talent to watch.

"Middlesex," his Pulitzer winner, re-imagines the American epic through the life of a Greek-American hermaphrodite. Jonathan Franzen wrote, "Jeffrey Eugenides is a big and big-hearted talent, and 'Middlesex' is a weird, wonderful novel that will sweep you off your feet."

Rachel Collins wrote for the Library Journal, "Spanning three generations and two continents, the story winds from the small Greek village of Smyrna to the smoggy, crime-riddled streets of Detroit, past historical events, and through family secrets. . . From the beginning, the reader is brought into a world rich in culture and history, as Eugenides extends his plot into forbidden territories with unique grace. His confidence in the story, combined with his sure prose, helps readers overcome their initial surprise and focus on the emotional revelation of the characters and beyond. Once again, Eugenides proves that he is not only a unique voice in modern literature but also well versed in the nature of the human heart."

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,