April 12, 2007
UI Writers' Workshop Alumna Reads At Prairie Lights April 24
T.K. Kenyon, an alumna of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from her debut novel, "Rabid," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live on the UI's Writing University Web site at http://writinguniversity.uiowa.edu.
The free reading will be recorded for broadcast on the "Live from Prairie
Lights" series originating on University of Iowa radio station WSUI-AM 910. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910, WOI-AM 640 and KRNI-AM 1010. A program is also broadcast at 5 p.m. Sundays on KSUI-FM 91.7.
Kenyon is not only a writer, but also a virologist and a neuroscientist, and "Rabid" depicts the clash of science and religion through the story of a college town, a professor, his wife, his mistress and his priest.
In a starred Booklist review, David Pitt wrote, "A priest, a professor, the professor's wife, and his mistress -- it sounds like the setup for a dirty joke, but debut novelist Kenyon isn't fooling around. What begins as a riff on Peyton Place (salacious small-town intrigue) smoothly metamorphoses into a philosophical battle between science and religion.
"You would think that in attempting to deal with so many different themes -- shady clergy, top-secret scientific research, marital infidelity, lust, love, honor, faith -- Kenyon would run the risk of overwhelming readers. But, and this is why Kenyon is definitely an author to watch, she juggles all of her story's elements without dropping any of them -- and, let's not forget, creates four very subtle and intriguing central characters.
"This is a novel quite unlike most standard commercial fare, a genre-bending story -- part thriller, part literary slapdown with dialogue as the weapon of choice (think 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?') -- that makes us laugh, wince, and reflect all at the same time. Kenyon is definitely a keeper."
Kenyon is an Arizona native of Scots and Apache heritage. She was the recipient of a Truman Capote Fellowship in the Writers' Workshop, and she also holds a doctorate in molecular virology. Her postdoctoral research at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania involved tissue culture and transgenic models of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
She has published five scholarly science papers in peer-reviewed journals and numerous nonfiction pieces. Six of her short fiction works have been published in literary journals, including Big Muddy, New York Stories and American Short Fiction.
The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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