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University of Iowa News Release


May 6, 2010
Authors Niffenegger, Rhodes to appear at Iowa City Book Festival July 17
The Iowa City Book Festival, presented by the University of Iowa Libraries, has announced that Audrey Niffenegger, author of "The Time Traveler’s Wife" and "Her Fearful Symmetry," and David Rhodes, author of "Driftless," will appear at this summer’s book festival July 16-18 in Iowa City.
The two authors will be part of the Shambaugh Author Series on Saturday, July 17, at the Iowa City Book Festival, a three-day celebration of reading, writing and books.
Niffenegger (photo, left) is the author of the bestselling novel, "The Time Traveler's Wife" (MacAdam/Cage, 2003), the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who is one of the first people diagnosed with chrono-displacement disorder. Periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. "The Time Traveler’s Wife" depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. The book was made into a movie in 2009 starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.
Niffenegger’s second novel, "Her Fearful Symmetry" (Scribner, 2009), tells a tale about the complications of love, identity and sibling rivalry between twins Julia and Valentina Poole, who inherit their aunt’s London flat, which borders the vast Highgate Cemetery. The twins discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including -— perhaps -— their aunt.
Niffenegger is currently working on her third novel, "The Chinchilla Girl in Exile." She teaches at Columbia College in Chicago.

A Midwest native, Rhodes (photo, left) received a master of fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1971. Five years later, a motorcycle accident left Rhodes paralyzed from the chest down, bringing his writing career to a temporary halt. In "Driftless," (Milkweed Editions, 2008), Rhodes returns to the Midwestern landscape he knows so well, offering a fascinating and entirely unsentimental portrait of a town apparently left behind by the march of time. Home to a few hundred people yet absent from state maps, the town of Words, Wisconsin, comes richly to life by way of an extraordinary cast of characters.

These authors and many others will be at the Iowa City Book Festival, a three-day celebration of reading, writing and books. The UI Libraries will host a ticketed, pre-festival author dinner on Friday, July 16, in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library. On Saturday, July 17, festival activities will be held in Gibson Square outside the UI Main Library’s south entrance on the university campus, and will be a mix of booksellers, a small music stage, children’s activities, food vendors, book arts demonstrations and readings and panel discussions. The festival wraps up on Sunday with “A Day in the City of Literature” which will feature authors and book-related activities in businesses throughout Iowa City.

For more information on authors and events, volunteering, or participating in the festival go online at
For more information, contact festival director Kristi Bontrager, at
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kristi Bontrager, 319-335-5960,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,