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University of Iowa News Release

April 6, 2005

Fiction Writers Haslett And Hynes Of Writers' Workshop Faculty Read April 15

Fiction writers Adam Haslett and James Hynes, University of Iowa alumni who are faculty members of the Iowa Writers' Workshop this spring, will read from their work in a free event at 8 p.m. Friday, April 15 in Room 321 of the UI Chemistry Building.

Hynes' most recent novel is "The Kings of Infinite Space," an office gothic that was selected as a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. He is also the author of "The Lecturer's Tale," "Wild Colonial Boy" and "Publish & Perish."

Reviewing "The Kings of Infinite Space," critic Carol Haggas wrote, "In the best tradition of Baum, Carroll and Orwell, Hynes crafts a mordantly incisive satire on a corporate America where incompetence is rewarded and talent ignored."

An Esquire review concluded, "This macabre, funny and very twisted satire of office life displays James Hynes as a wonderfully eccentric and entirely original writer."

And a piece in the New York Times Book Review observed, "What makes this novel scarier -- and more ambitious -- than 'The Lecturer's Tale' and 'Publish & Perish,' Hynes's previous books, is that it isn't about the academy. It's about all of us -- porters, waitresses, office schlubs and TV anchorwomen, as well as people who read 'The Norton Anthology of English Literature.' They, we, are all trying to rise or at least not fall, haunted by the idea that someone -- no matter where we are on the totem pole -- is richer, more important, hipper, less humiliated than us."

Haslett's first collection of stories, "You Are Not a Stranger Here," was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. A New York Times Book Review article called it "Spectacular . . . You should buy this book, you should read it, and you should admire it. . . . It is the herald of a phenomenal career."

And a San Francisco Chronicle review asserted that Haslett has an "assured, almost democratic empathy for his admirably varied characters. . . . These are graceful, mature, witty stories."

The Writers' Workshop is an academic unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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