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University of Iowa News Release


April 3, 2009

UI nonfiction alumna Biss reads for 'Live from Prairie Lights' April 15

The "Live from Prairie Lights" reading series, which is streamed live on the University of Iowa Writing University Web site,, will feature UI Nonfiction Writing Program alumna Eula Biss on Wednesday, April 15. The reading will be a free event at 7 p.m. in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

C-Span Book TV will be on hand for Biss' reading from "Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays," an ambitious exploration of race and racial identity in America that was the winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. Biss, who is also the author of the prose/poetry volume "The Balloonists," teaches at Northwestern University and is co-editor of Essay Press.

An article in the Columbia Journalism Review stated, "Traversing an isthmus between white America and nonwhite America, she notes her own, ample opportunities, yet refuses to relinquish the struggle for racial identity to those that have traditionally been more oppressed."

Native American author Sherman Alexie wrote, "I fought with this book. I shouted, 'Amen!' I cursed at it for being so wildly wrong and right. It's so smart, combative, surprising, and sometimes shocking that it kept me twisting and turning in my seat like I was on some kind of socio-political roller coaster ride. Eula Biss writes with equal parts beauty and terror. I love it."

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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, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell), 319-338-4274 (home)