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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 3, 2008

Prolific Japanese writer Masahiko Shimada visits the UI

The University of Iowa visit by Masahiko Shimada, one of Japan's most prominent and prolific writers, will include a free screening of "Jr. Butterfly," the Werner Herzog film for which he wrote the libretto, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Room 107 of the English-Philosophy Building, and a free reading at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept.15, in the Shambaugh House, 430 N. Clinton St.

Shimada will be at the UI for several days as a guest of the International Writing Program, International Programs, the Opera Studies Forum, the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the Department of Cinema & Comparative Literature, and Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. He will meet with classes in addition to his public events.

He began his career by winning the Noma Bungei Award for First Novels in 1984, and he has since written more than 70 books, including many volumes of "postmodern" fiction about contemporary Japan. His novel "The Dream Messenger" was translated into English and published in 1994.

Recent projects have included two opera librettos and participation in a poetry boxing match. Most recently, Shimada published his serial fiction piece "The Idle Prince" in a leading newspaper and as a cell phone novel. He teaches at Hosei University.

He is also an actor, including roles in the controversial "Tokyo Decadence" and the 2008 film "Out of the Wind."

He has taught at Columbia University and lectured at the University of Toronto, and he is now on the faculty of Hosei University.

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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: Chiaki Sakai, UI Libraries,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,