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University of Iowa News Release


July 11, 2008

Horan completes WSUI's 'Live from Prairie Lights' summer schedule

Nancy Horan will read from her bestselling novel "Loving Frank," which is just out in paperback, at 7 p.m. Friday, July 25, in Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. This final WSUI "Live from Prairie Lights" event for summer 2008, hosted by Julie Englander, is free and open to the public.

The event will be recorded for broadcast on Iowa Public Radio's "Live from Prairie Lights" series. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910 in Iowa City and WOI-AM 640 in Ames. Listen live via the University of Iowa Writing University Web site at

In the early 1900s, married architect Frank Lloyd Wright eloped to Europe with Mamah Cheney, the wife of one of his clients. "Loving Frank" is the story of that affair and its results.

"I adore this novel, for so many reasons," says popular author Elizabeth Berg. "The intelligence and lyricism of the prose, the attention to period detail, and the epic proportions of this most fascinating love story. Mamah Cheney has been in my head, heart and soul since reading this book; I doubt she'll ever leave."

A review in Bookmarks stated, "Frank Lloyd Wright never once mentioned Mamah Cheney in his letters or autobiography; still, Nancy Horan managed to extrapolate the love affair from newspaper accounts and Mamah's letters to Ellen Key. If Loving Frank didn't hew so closely to the facts, it would read almost like a bodice ripper. Instead, it realistically depicts the opportunities and repercussions of individuals living outside of society's mores and captures the cultural and artistic philosophies of the time."

"Anyone who lives in Oak Park, Illinois, as I did for 24 years, knows something about Frank Lloyd Wright," Horan says. "His home and studio complex attracts busloads of visitors from around the world, and his prairie houses dot the town. One of those houses belonged to Mamah Borthwick Cheney, the client who became his lover.

"She was a highly educated woman, a wife and mother of young children at the time of her affair, a feminist. Who was she, and why did she risk so much? A couple of biographies about Wright whetted my appetite. The more I learned about her, the more I felt compelled to tell her remarkable story."

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jan Weissmiller, Prairie Lights,, 319-337-2681; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell),