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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 5, 2007

UI alumna Kate Christensen reads Sept. 13 for WSUI 'Live from Prairie Lights'

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna Kate Christensen, author of the acclaimed "Epicure's Lament," will be reading from her new novel, "The Great Man," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live via the Writing University website at

The event will be recorded for broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI 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 in Iowa City, WOI-AM 640 in Ames and KRNI-AM 1010 in Cedar Falls. A program is also broadcast at 5 p.m. Sundays on KSUI-FM 91.7 in Iowa City.

"The Great Man" is the tale of a famous American artist who is known for his endless troubles with women. A review in The New Yorker summarized, "At the center of this snippy comedy of manners is a New York-based painter and philanderer, Oscar Feldman, whose oeuvre consists of boldly rendered female nudes. That Oscar has been dead for a few years barely matters to the constellation of elderly women in his orbit: his long-suffering wife, Abigail, who rarely leaves her Upper West Side apartment; Teddy, his soignée bohemian mistress, moldering in Greenpoint; his sister Maxine, an abstract painter who is equally preoccupied with female flesh, and considered by some a greater talent.

"When two feckless biographers descend, looking for the inside scoop, Oscar's big secret, hanging in plain view, becomes a vehicle for both rapprochement and revelation."

Heidi Julavits, the author of "The Uses of Enchantment," wrote, "Kate Christensen's brilliant, big-hearted skewering of greatness, of men, of the Manhattan art scene, of love, reminded me that books can be witty, and heart- breaking and intelligent."

And Cathi Hanauer, author of "Sweet Ruin," commented, "The prose in this book is stunning; the characters fascinating, endearing, and utterly real. Kate Christensen is, quite simply, one of the finest artists writing today."

Christensen is the author of the novels "In the Drink" and "Jeremy Thrane," and her essays and articles have appeared in publications including Salon, Mademoiselle, the Hartford Courant, Elle and the bestselling anthology "The Bitch in the House."

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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, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,