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University of Iowa News Release


March 14, 2007

Desai, Winner Of National Book Critics Circle Award, Reads March 27 At UI

Kiran Desai, whose "The Inheritance of Loss" won both the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, will read from her work at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in Lecture Room 2 of Van Allen Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Desai will present the free reading as a guest of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Geeta Sharma Jensen, a member of the National Book Critics Circle board, wrote of Desai, "She is the product of multiculturalism and postcolonialism, an immigrant, well-read, well-bred, whose rootlessness itself has become a kind of shelter, a form of poetry. It is this, her own inheritance and the disinheritance that has come with globalization, of which Kiran Desai sings so purely in 'The Inheritance of Loss.'

"It is at once a novel of class and economic disparity, a young girl's fanciful love story, and a commentary on postcolonial India with its fading anglophiles, their crumbling edifices and their dwindling power in the face of a modernizing nation's disaffected population. . . . Her deft narrative is compelling, and her prose -- Allow me to gush: gorgeous, fluid, magnificent."

Desai, the daughter of Indian novelist Anita Desai, was born in India and educated there, in England and in the United States, where she attended the creative writing program at Columbia University. She is also the author of "Hullaballoo in the Guava Orchard," which was published in 1998.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;