Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


March 28, 2007

Diehl And Morano Read From New UI Press Books At Prairie Lights April 10, 13

Huston Diehl and Michele Morano will read from their new University of Iowa Press books at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, and Friday, April 13, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live on the Internet at

Diehl will read from "Dream Not of Other Worlds: Teaching in a Segregated Elementary School, 1970," the UI Press's first Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Selection, on Tuesday, April 10, and Morano will read from the essay collection "Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain" on Friday, April 13. Morano's book was released by the UI Press on March 15 and Diehl's book becomes available April 2.

The free readings 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.

In "Grammar Lessons," Morano (left) connects the rules of grammar to the stories we tell to help us understand our worlds. Living and traveling in Spain during a year of teaching English to university students, she learned to translate and interpret her past and present worlds. She learned to study the surprising moments of communication as a way to make sense of language and meaning, longing and memory.

Get the full story at

As the first Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Selection, Diehl's book launches a new collaboration between UI Press and the Obermann Center intended to spotlight works that cross disciplinary lines.

In her memoir about teaching in a "Negro" elementary school during the waning days of the Jim Crow south, Diehl (right) reflects on what her students taught her about their lives, their fears and dreams, and their understanding of their place in American society.

Describing some of the ways she failed her young students and discussing America's historic failure to provide adequate schools and equal educational opportunities to generations of African American children, her book ends with her return to her former school in 2004 where she discovers what has -- and what has not -- changed after more than 30 years of school integration.

"'Dream Not of Other Worlds' is a wise and evocative book," writes Jacquelyn Hall, Spruill Professor of History at the University of North Carolina. "Gracefully moving back and forth between children's writings and drawings, her own memories and her later research, Huston Diehl gives us a rare, intimate, and sustained look at the experience of African American children in the legally segregated schools of the rural South. The story she tells combines hope and heartbreak. It tells us where we've been and illuminates some of the most urgent educational issues of our time."

Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Selections are chosen biannually from the full range of titles published by the UI Press. "Dream Not of Other Worlds" is an especially appropriate book to inaugurate this partnership since Diehl, a professor of English at UI, wrote part of her memoir while in residence at the Obermann Center in 2003. With the support of a Center for Advanced Studies Spelman Rockefeller (CASSPR) Grant, which supports research on children and families, she was able to travel to Virginia in 2003 to do research on her book.

Diehl was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon on March 24. That feature is accessible at

Learn more about Diehl's "Dream Not of Other Worlds" at

Diehl has been the recipient of both the Collegiate Teaching Award and the Faculty Excellence Award for her work in the UI English Department, where her specialty is Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. The English Department is an academic unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the UI encourages scholarly interaction to explore broad frontiers of knowledge and investigate complex ideas and problems. Obermann Scholars are stimulated by informal exchange of ideas with scholars from other disciplines and by uninterrupted blocks of time in which to pursue their research. Obermann Scholars have published numerous scholarly books and articles and have won millions of dollars in competitive external research funding for projects started at the Center.

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;