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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 23, 2006

Francine Prose Reads On WSUI 'Live From Prairie Lights' Nov. 6

Novelist and essayist Francine Prose, a former faculty member in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from her new book, "Reading Like a Writer," at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The 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

In "Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them," Prose examines the work of excellent writers -- including Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Austen, Dickens, Woolf and Chekhov -- to discover why their work has endured.

She analyses the long sentences of Philip Roth, the characterization in George Eliot's "Middlemarch," John Le Carre's skill at advancing plot through dialogue, Flannery O'Connor's cunning use of detail, and James Joyce's use of gesture to create character. She cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which literature is crafted.

Robert Saunderson wrote for the School Library Journal, "She does no less than escort readers to a heightened level of appreciation of great literature. Many will want to go to the shelves to read again, or for the first time, the books she discusses. And to aid them, she thoughtfully adds a list at the end: Books to Be Read Immediately."

Prose is the author of 14 books of fiction, including, most recently, "A Changed Man" and "Blue Angel," which was a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition to teaching at the UI, she has taught literature and writing for more than 20 years at Harvard, Columbia, Arizona, the New School and other institutions.

Her stories, reviews and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, "Best American Short Stories," The New Yorker, the New York Times, the New York Observer, Art News, the Yale Review, the New Republic and numerous other publications.

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

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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;