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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 2, 2004

Novelist Mitchell Reads On 'Live From Prairie Lights' Sept. 15

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Judith Claire Mitchell will read from her debut novel, "The Last Day of the War," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The reading, hosted by Julie Englander, will be a free event at the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The slaughter of Armenians in Turkey is the historical backdrop of Mitchell's novel. A preview of "The Last Day of the War" in Publishers Weekly observed, "All the heroes are liars in this smart, entertaining novel set at the close of World War I. . . . Mitchell's debut is willfully charming, alternately impudent and intense. . . . Resisting the temptation to write an 'issue' book, Mitchell manages to capture a horrendous chapter in world history through exhaustive research while allowing a full spectrum of humor and pathos to flesh out the picture."

Critic Mark Whipple wrote, "Author Judith Mitchell seizes on the fact that many Armenian-Americans, referred to as 'hyphenates' by President Wilson, fought in the war in Europe but were also committed to making Turkey pay for its crimes against their families and culture. She creates a fascinating plot which brings to life the efforts by Armenians in Europe and America to address the wrongs done to them by bringing the Turkish leaders of the massacres to justice, either legal or ad hoc."

Mitchell was the recipient of a James Michener/Copernicus Society of America Fellowship at the UI. She was a James C. McCreight Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and she now teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin.

The Writers' Workshop is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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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,