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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 9, 2004

UI Alumna Sittenfeld Reads From Debut Novel Feb. 21 On WSUI

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Curtis Sittenfeld will read from her debut novel, "Prep," at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21 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. Listen on the Internet at

"Prep" is the story of an awkward, middle-class Midwesterner, attending an excusive Boston prep school.

Dave Eggers, author of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" wrote,  "Curtis Sittenfeld is a young writer with a crazy amount of talent. Her sharp and economical prose reminds us of Joan Didion and Tobias Wolff. Like them, she has a sly and potent wit, which cuts unexpectedly -- but often -- through the placid surface of her prose. Her voice is strong and clear, her moral compass steady; I'd believe anything she told me."

Wally Lamb, the author of "She's Come Undone" and "I Know This Much Is True," added, "Speaking in a voice as authentic as Salinger's Holden Caulfield and McCullers' Mick Kelly, Curtis Sittenfeld's Lee Fiora tells unsugared truths about adolescence, alienation and the sociology of privilege. 'Prep's' every sentence rings true. Sittenfeld is a rising star."

Tom Perrotta, the author of "Little Children" and "Election" called the book, "Funny, excruciatingly honest, improbably sexy and studded with hard-won, eccentric wisdom about high school, heartbreak and social privilege. One of the most impressive debut novels in recent memory."

Sittenfeld won the Seventeen magazine fiction-writing contest in 1992, at age 16, and the Mississippi Review's annual fiction contest in 1998. Her writing has appeared in Fast Company, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Salon and Real Simple, and on public radio's "This American Life." A graduate of Stanford University as well as the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is the recipient of a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award.

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