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University of Iowa News Release


March 23, 2007

National Book Critics Circle Award-Winner Lethem Reads April 4

Jonathan Lethem will read from "You Don't Love Me Yet," his new novel, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live on the Internet via The Writing University Web site,

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 AM 910 WSUI in Iowa City, AM 640 WOI in Ames and AM 1010 KRNI in Cedar Falls. A program is also broadcast at 5 p.m. Sundays on 91.7 FM KSUI in Iowa City.

Lethem is the genre-jumping author of "The Fortress of Solitude," "Motherless Brooklyn" and "Gun with Occasional Music." "Motherless Brooklyn" was named Novel of the Year by Esquire magazine and won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award. "The Fortress of Solitude" was one of nine "Editor's Choice" books selected by the New York Times Book Review.

He also has written collections of short stories and essays, and has edited books on music and amnesia.

Critic Ian Chipman wrote of the new novel, "Lethem's new book is a comic novel set in L.A., about a girl, a boy, their band, and the sea of hipsters they swim among. Doe-eyed bassist Lucinda (self-taught rocker; has a proclivity for turning innocent love triangles into complicated love polygons) and singer Matthew (sexy in that brooding, emaciated sort of way; dabbles in kangaroo-napping) attempt to emphasize the 'off' facet of their on-again, off-again romance without upsetting the precarious balance of the all-important band.

"Never mind that the band doesn't have a name, hasn't played any shows, and has only a handful of half-formed songs. Lucinda takes a job on the side in an installation-art piece in which random callers register complaints. One in particular beguiles her with his arousing, near-feral ruminations about seducing women. Lucinda takes his words to Bedwin, the band's savant song-crafter, and the result sounds uncannily like a hit."

The Writing University Web site provides a handy portal to the UI writing programs, including the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the International Writing Program, the Nonfiction Writing Program, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, the Translation Workshop, the UI Press and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. The site also centralizes writing news, lists upcoming events and provides access to a wealth of writing materials: texts, journals, lists of Iowa-connected writers and publications, historic videos and archived audio. Visitors to the site have the option of subscribing to an RSS feed.

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;