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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 22, 2004

Nov. 5 WSUI Reading Features UI Non-Fiction Faculty Member Patricia Foster

Patricia Foster, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a faculty member in the non-fiction writing program of the UI English Department, will read from "Just Beneath My Skin: Autobiography and Self-Discovery," newly released in paperback, at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The free reading will be broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the Internet at

"Just beneath My Skin" is a collection of essays that explores autobiography as a means of creative self-examination. Four essays in this collection were named Notable Essays by Robert Atwan ("Best American Essays"), while one of the essays, "A Second Look," won the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award for nonfiction.

A Publishers Weekly preview commented, "Filled with moving and humorous anecdotes, as well as with serious considerations of autobiography's aims and methods, Foster's collection is bound together by beautiful prose and unflinching honesty. Clearly, she herself adheres to the advice that she dispenses to her students: 'Writing requires risk.' And it is this sort of truthful scrutiny that extends her collection beyond its apparent subject matter: 'the life of a southern girl who ran away from the South but who, deep in her bones, feels the pull of that history, that story.'"

Adam Hochschild, author of "King Leopold's Ghost," observed, "Like all good writers, Patricia Foster knows that the best stories are those we carry around inside us."

Foster began her book publishing career with the anthology "Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul," a book translated into German, Dutch and Portuguese, chosen as a QPB Paperback selection, and performed as a play by the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Her other books are "Sister to Sister"; "The Healing Circle," co-edited with Mary Swander; and a memoir, "All the Lost Girls," winner of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award for Women's Nonfiction.

She has published both fiction and nonfiction in literary magazines including the Gettysburg Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner and Fourth Genre. She has won a Lake Effect Fiction Award, a Florida Arts Council Award, a Yaddo residency, four Alabama Arts & Humanities Awards, and a UI Dean's Scholar Award

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

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