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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 20, 2006

Screenwriter Behrens Reads From Debut Novel Dec. 4

Montreal-born screenwriter Peter Behrens will read from "The Law of Dreams," his debut novel, at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The "Live from Prairie Lights" reading, hosted by WSUI's 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

Behrens is of Irish descent, and his novel - a finalist for the 2006 Governor General's Award - is set during Ireland's great hunger in 1847.

Ron Charles wrote for the Washington Post Book World, "'The Law of Dreams' is a fearsome story of such prolonged agony and unquenchable spirit that you can't escape till the final page abandons you to astonished silence.

"Peter Behrens, a screenwriter who lives in Maine, based this debut novel on his family's history in Ireland, but the private tragedy he describes was common to hundreds of thousands of people during the Great Famine of 1847, and the language he uses constantly soars above that calamity toward the mystery of human struggle. . . .

"Behrens illuminates one of the 19th century's greatest tragedies and the massive migration it launched. A novel that animates the past this vibrantly should make volumes of mere history blush."

Behrens is the author of the short-story collection "Night Driving." His short stories and essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Saturday Night and the National Post and have been anthologized in "Best Canadian Stories" and "Best Canadian Essays."

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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; cell: 310-430-1013;