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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 17, 2008

Francine Prose reads from new novel Oct. 30 in Prairie Lights

Former University of Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member Francine Prose will read from "Goldengrove," her 15th novel, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live via the University of Iowa Writing University website:

The event will be recorded for broadcast on Iowa Public Radio's "Live from Prairie Lights" series. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, 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.

Prose's main character, Nico, is a 13-year-old girl dealing with the drowning death of her adored older sister.

A review in Publishers Weekly explains, "Nico was a willing confidant and decoy in Margaret's clandestine romance with a high school classmate, Aaron, and Nico now finds that she and Aaron are drawn to each other in their mutual bereavement. Unhinged by grief, Nico's parents are distracted and careless in their oversight of Nico, and Nico is deep in perilous waters before she realizes that she is out of her depth."

A review in Bookmarks magazine notes, "Prose's novel brings to light the fragile connections between characters under terrible emotional stress and their hesitant first steps toward healing while sidestepping clichés and sentimentality."

Prose, the president of the PEN American Center, is also the author of "A Changed Man" and "Blue Angel," which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the nonfiction New York Times bestseller "Reading Like a Writer."

Prose was most recently at the UI in 2006, to do a reading and lead a master class, "Close Reading: Reading Like a Writer."

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

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,