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University of Iowa News Release


March 28, 2008

Novelists McCracken and Carey will share April 10 reading

Elizabeth McCracken and Edward Carey, visiting faculty in the Iowa Writers' Workshop during the spring semester, will present a joint reading at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of the Dey House on the University of Iowa campus.

The reading, sponsored by the Writers' Workshop, will be free and open to the public.

A graduate of the Writers' Workshop, McCracken is the author of three books of fiction: the PEN Winship Award-winner "Niagara Falls All Over Again," "The Giant's House" and "Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry?" She first grabbed the attention of the literary world in 1993, with "Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry," a collection of short stories she developed while she was a student at the Writers' Workshop.

She received the Harold Vursell Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and Michener Foundation, the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was also honored as one of Granta's 20 Best Writers Under 40.

Kirkus Reviews described "Niagara Falls All Over Again" as an "enchantingly detailed and immensely appealing follow-up to the National Book Award-nominated 'The Giant's House' ... a career-making book." And the online "Critical Mick" wrote that "The characters and language of this novel have stuck with me even 11 months later. ... Reading 'Niagara Falls All Over Again' is like being tickled."

Carey, a native of the United Kingdom, participated in the UI International Writing Program in 2002. His first novel, "Observatory Mansions," was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Prize. His latest novel is "Alva & Irva," which also features his original artwork. He is currently at work on an historical novel that takes place in Paris.

His collaborations with international artists include "The Cat Mother" and "Horsehead" with the Faulty Optic puppet company, which has been performed across Europe and England; "Macbeth in the Shadows," a shadow-puppet version of Macbeth for which he designed the puppets, which premiered in Kuala Lampur in 2006; and a forthcoming film on the terracotta tableaux of Varallo Sesia with the Italian filmmaker and writer Elizabetta Sgarbi. A play based on "Observatory Mansions" premiered this year in Brussels.

Kirkus Reviews noted of "Alva and Irva," "That Carey is able to render such a hermetic tale in the bright, vivid colors that splash across its pages is a feat in itself, the fact that he knows when to stop an even bigger one. At once baroque in detail and sparely plotted: a pleasurable fantasy that knows what to leave in mystery." And critic Jeff VanderMeer wrote for Locus, "'Observatory Mansions,' published in 2001, is simply the best Gothic fantasy of the new century."

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.

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