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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 31, 2005

Livesey, Clark Read 'Live From Prairie Lights' Sept. 14 And 16

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member Margot Livesey will read from her work Wednesday, Sept. 14, on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910, and novelist Susanna Clark will read Friday, Sept. 16.

The 7 p.m. readings, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, will originate as free events in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

Livesey, a Scottish novelist with an international following, will read from her fifth novel, "Banishing Verona." Diane Johnson wrote, "Margot Livesey's is such a personal, endearing, sharp voice, and this is a sly, special, and funny book."

Critic Carol Haggas wrote for Booklist, "Single and seven months pregnant, Verona quickly falls in love with Zeke and just as quickly leaves him in the lurch. She's off on a wild goose chase after her ne'er-do-well brother, Henry . . . Zeke willingly turns his world upside down for a woman he hardly knows; he just knows he can't live without her, and if that isn't the definition of true love, then what is? Told from the parallel viewpoints of her wistful hero and his winsome heroine, Livesey's unlikely yet enchanting romance poignantly reveals the mysterious machinations of the human heart."

Livesey was born and grew up in the Scottish Highlands. She is the author of four previous novels, "Eva Moves the Furniture," "Homework," "Criminals" and "The Missing World," and a collection of stories, "Learning by Heart." She is the co-editor of "Writing about Literature: An Anthology for Reading and Writing." She has received grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. Livesey has taught in numerous writing programs.

Clarke will read from the paperback edition of her hit debut novel of magic and history, "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," which has frequently prompted comparisons to the Harry Potter series.

"Many books are to be read, some are to be studied, and a few are to be lived in for weeks. 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell' is of this last kind," asserted a review in the Washington Post.

The novel was Time magazine's #1 book of the year, made People magazine's and's Top Ten Books of the year list -- among many best-of lists -- and took up a long residence on the New York Times bestseller list.

The Writers' Workshop is an academic unit 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.

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