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University of Iowa News Release

June 6, 2006

War Correspondent Scott Anderson Reads From New Novel June 20 On WSUI

War correspondent Scott Anderson, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his new novel, "Moonlight Hotel," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, on the "Live from Prairie Lights," on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910.

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

Anderson envisions a small fictional country under siege after a series of American screwups, and readers are likely to draw parallels with Iraq. But Anderson says he began writing the novel six years ago, not only before the invasion of Iraq but also before 9/11. "Iraq is going to go down as one of the greatest blunders in American history," he says. "Where you're going to see parallels to this book is a couple of years up the road -- that is, how does America declare victory and bail?"

Alan Furst, the author of "The Foreign Correspondent," called the book "an extremely sophisticated and passionate description of the political nightmare visited on small countries by great and powerful nations, detail by detail, the shadowy moves at the margins of the nightly news since the days of Vietnam. A sad business, and sadder still because there is dire authenticity in every tactical move in this novel -- Anderson knows exactly what he's talking about. Like the soldiers, like the diplomats, he's been there and seen it, and had to write the dispatches -- and, one suspects on finishing 'Moonlight Hotel,' had to write the novel. To say what can't be said on the front page. Not that it happened, but why, and who's to blame."

A review in Publishers Weekly described the novel as "a smart, polished, proto-'Syriana' page-turner."

Anderson, whose books include "The Man Who Tried to Save the World," "Triage" and "The 4 O'Clock Murders" has written from Beirut, Northern Ireland, Chechnya, Israel, Sudan, Sarajevo, El Salvador, and a number of other war-torn areas. He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper's, Outside and many other publications.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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