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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 21, 2006

Robinson Begins 2006-07 Writers' Workshop Faculty Lecture Series Sept. 1

Marilynne Robinson, who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for her novel "Gilead," will launch the 2006-07 Iowa Writers' Workshop Faculty Lecture Series with a discussion of "Beauty" at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of Dey House on the University of Iowa campus.

The lecture is the first public event in the Conroy Reading Room, named in honor of the long-time Writers' Workshop director who died in 2005. The room is part of the new Glenn Schaeffer Library and Archives, an addition to the Dey House that will be dedicated Oct. 20.

"Gilead," an epistolary novel about the experiences and thoughts of a small-town Iowa minister, also won the Book Critics' Circle Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her first novel, "Housekeeping," was a Pulitzer finalist two decades ago, when it won the PEN/Hemingway Award.

In the intervening years she wrote two non-fiction books, "Mother Country" and "The Death of Adam."

Lan Samantha Chang, the director of the Writers' Workshop, initiated the Iowa Writers' Workshop Faculty Lecture Series when she arrived last semester and realized that workshop students and the UI/Iowa City community did not have access to the lectures that workshop faculty frequently present throughout the country and abroad.

"Our faculty are in demand for their expert insight into literature and the process of writing," she said. "Why should these wonderful lectures only be presented elsewhere?

"I felt this is an exciting resource that we should share. These are not the sorts of presentations that our students encounter within the workshop setting, and I expect that faculty, alumni and the writing community will be anxious to attend as well, to benefit from our teachers' insights and expertise."

The lectures will continue monthly during the academic year.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in 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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