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University of Iowa News Release

March 31, 2006

Canadian Poet And Novelist Jane Urquhart Reads On WSUI April 12

Canadian fiction writer and poet Jane Urquhart will read from her new novel, "A Map of Glass," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

Julie Englander will host the broadcast, which 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

A Publishers Weekly starred review stated, "Urquhart's passion for the past ("The Stone Carvers") and the land ("The Underpainters," winner of the Governor General's Award in Canada) are at full poetic play in this intricate story of love, loss and memory.

"Set in present-day Toronto and in the 19th-century world of rural Ontario timber barons, it opens with the wintry death of Alzheimer's sufferer Andrew, whose body, borne by an ice floe, runs aground on the small Lake Ontario island where artist Jerome McNaughton is seeking inspiration. The story steps back a century, to when Andrew's ancestors, owners of the same island, razed forests to build ships, then it jumps forward a year from the opening scene of Andrew's death, to when Sylvia, Andrew's married lover of 20 years, sets out to meet with Jerome, who discovered Andrew's body, and, through Jerome, to reconnect one last time with Andrew. Meanwhile, Jerome, the relationship-shy adult child of an abusive, alcoholic father, is slowly coming to trust that girlfriend Mira's love for him is real.

"Urquhart reveals all of their haunted personal histories in the lyrical first and third parts of the novel. But it's in the compact family-saga middle, where a slew of Andrew's memorable forebears take the stage, that this novel's luminous heart truly lies."

Urquhart's advocates in Canada consider her the equal of Margaret Atwood. A piece in the Toronto Globe and Mail asserted, "She has claimed an urgent place as one of our most interesting and accomplished writers." Her 1993 novel, "Away," set a record for any Canadian book, residing on the Globe and Mail bestseller list for 132 weeks.

Urquhart is the author of five internationally acclaimed, award-winning novels a collection of short fiction and three books of poetry.

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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,