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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 11, 2007

'Jarhead' Author Anthony Swofford, A UI Alumnus, Reads Jan. 24

"Jarhead" author Anthony Swofford, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from "Exit A," his just-released debut novel, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Swofford was educated at American River College and the University of California, Davis, before he attended the UI Writers' Workshop. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, the Men's Journal, the Iowa Review and other publications.

Keir Graff wrote for Booklist, "'Exit A' is about Severin Boxx, a teenager living on a U.S. Air Force base in Japan, and Virginia Kindwall, the half-Japanese (hafu, although I don't think that's the nice way to say it) daughter of the base general. Severin is in love with Virginia, and Virginia is the base general's daughter. General Kindwall is also the hard-ass coach of Severin's football team. Severin is a clean-cut All-American type, and Virginia idolizes Bonnie and Clyde and carries a gun in her purse.

"Like 'Jarhead,' 'Exit A' explores the side of military life that doesn't show up in the recruitment brochures or on the nightly news. Swofford explores the strange symbiosis of base and city, the resentment of the locals toward the soldiers, the way Japanese punks and U.S. flyboys end up moshing together in the living room of an out-of-control off-base party."

Writing for Book Page, Jay MacDonald called the book, "a surprisingly fresh and playful fiction debut. Part coming-of-age story, part epic quest, 'Exit A' is the flipside of 'Jarhead,' told by those other casualties of war, the wives and children of America's armed forces."

The Writers' Workshop is an academic unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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