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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 5, 2005

WSUI 'Live From Prairie Lights' Kicks Off Fall Series With Mohanraj Aug. 25

"Live from Prairie Lights," the series of broadcast live literary readings on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will kick off its fall season with a reading by fiction writer Mary Anne Mohanraj at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25. Note: Prairie Lights readings have been changed to 7 p.m. Listen on the Internet at

Mohanjaj, who was born in Sri Lanka to Tamil parents and educated in the United States, will read from her third collection of stories, "Bodies in Motion," in which two families struggle with American and Sri Lankan cultures over two eventful centuries. The reading, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, will be a free event at the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

"Live from Prairie Lights," which is celebrating its 15th anniversary on the air, is America's only on-going radio series of live literary readings.

Kirkus Reviews called Mohanraj's collection, "Intricately interwoven stories featuring sensual language and surprising sexual twists," and a review in the Boston Globe labeled it "A graceful, nimble book."

Mohanraj -- who has been called "one of the Internet's foremost erotica writers and one of the very few to ever get paid for it" -- received her doctorate, specializing in post-colonial literature and creative writing, from the University of Utah, and she teaches at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

She also serves as the executive director of DesiLit (, an organization that works to support South Asian and diaspora literature. In addition to her fiction collections, she has published "A Taste of Serendib," a Sri Lankan cookbook.

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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,