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University of Iowa News Release

April 21, 2005

UI Writers' Workshop Graduate Parsons Reads On WSUI May 5

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate Alexander Parsons will read from his second novel, "In the Shadows of the Sun," at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 5 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the Internet at

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

"In the Shadows of the Sun" is set in the high desert badlands of New Mexico and the ravaged, war-torn landscape of the Philippine jungle, focusing on a ranching family struggling to hold on to their way of life in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

Thom Jones, author of "The Pugilist at Rest," wrote, "I can't think of anything I've read that held me as spellbound as this superlative book. 'In the Shadows of the Sun' is vividly authentic whether Parsons is describing the high mountain desert of New Mexico, the jungles of the Philippines, or the characters that traverse these landscapes. The book is a riveting page-turner."

The author of "Ghost Soldiers," Hampton Sides, commented, "Alexander Parsons has struck the richest vein of the American tragedy in the Philippines -- the story of its disproportionate impact on the young men of New Mexico. In this beautiful novel, with its spare but keen sense of pathos, Parsons shows us how events of history leave concentric ripples that are deeply felt across years and continents."

And Jeffrey Lent, author of "In the Fall" and "Lost Nation," concluded, "No other novel in recent memory strikes so deeply with such elegance and heartbreaking beauty."

Parsons earned degrees from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and New Mexico State University. His first novel, "Leaving Disneyland," won the 2001 Associated Writing Programs Award for the Novel and was a finalist for the 2001 PEN West Award. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Texas Fellowship in Literature and a Chesterfield Screenwriting Fellowship. He teaches fiction writing at the University of New Hampshire.

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

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