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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 27, 2004

Iowa City's Larry Baker Reads 'Live From Prairie Lights' Nov. 10

Iowa City writer Larry Baker, who holds a doctorate in English from the University of Iowa where he is an adjunct faculty member, will read from "Athens, America," his new novel, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10 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

Baker, author of "Flamingo Rising" and former member of the City Council of Iowa City, has written what he calls a "tragic satire" about local government in a Midwestern university town -- and it has just hit the shelves.

Writer Havel Kimmel commented, "Larry Baker's immense knowledge of local politics comes from his own experience, and that knowledge is put to dramatic effect in 'Athens, America.' But 'Athens' is more than a political novel. It's also a highly moral and humane story, with a narrator who is both astute and forgiving of human foibles. And, ultimately, while being a story about a certain kind of American, it's also a very tender love story. I hope it sells a million copies."

Actor and author Peter Coyote added, "I read this extraordinary book in two enormous gulps while on the set in Vancouver. 'Athens' has it all. Like a multi-layered world carved on ivory by the most skilled of Chinese artisans, Larry Baker has replicated our complicated, contentious, duplicitous, stupid and deeply moving America. You'll see your town in this powerful story, and how you see yourself after reading it may be determined by who you are in your own community."

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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,