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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 16, 2011

Readings conclude fall Writing University live streams Nov. 28 through Dec. 5

Free literary readings Nov. 28 through Dec. 5 from Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City will conclude the fall schedule of live Internet streams at the University of Iowa website, The schedule includes:

--Mark Wisniewski will read from his short stories in Show Up, Look Good at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28.
--Kirkwood college philosophy faculty member Robert Sessions will read from the locally published Becoming Real: Authenticity in an Age of Distractions at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29.
--Iowa's Zachary Michael Jack will read from Native Soulmate: A Season in Search of a Love Homegrown at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.
--Donovan Hohn will read from Moby-Duck, a chronicle of 28,800 Chinese manufactured plastic animals in a container that fell off a ship en route to Seattle in 1992, at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5.

Tobias Wolff Award-winner Wisniewski is the author of the novel Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman, the collection of short stories All Weekend With the Lights On, and the book of narrative poems One of Us One Night His fiction has appeared widely in literary magazines and has been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories.

Jonathan Lethem describes Wisniewski as "a riotously original voice," and author Ben Fountain called Show Up, Look Good, "a rollicking, laugh-out-loud romp of a novel."

Joe Robinson, author, Don't Miss Your Life and Work to Live, wrote, "Robert Sessions has put his finger on one of the chief problems of the modern age, an affliction out of our consciousness but affecting every day of our lives. He shows that at the root of our efforts to fit in, be cool, pad our worth with material stuff, and try on new belief systems as if they were clothes is the lack of an authentic core. We aren't comfortable in our own skin, because our authenticity has been co-opted by marketers, mediators, and technology. He makes an eloquent case that this planet would be a lot more livable if we could just get real."

Sessions is the co-author of Working in America: A Humanities Reader and has published articles on environmental philosophy, the philosophy of work, and the philosophy of technology.

Jack's Native Soulmate is a real-life sequel to his award-winning romance novel What Cheer. At the height of a Heartland summer a seventh-generation Midwesterner unlucky in love sets forth from a faraway farm on a quest to road-test what he calls his Beach Boys hypothesis: What if we really do live in a world where native boy meets native girl...What if the cutest girls and boys in the world really do live right under our nose?

Part 1,500-mile travelogue and part real-life love story, Native Soulmate offers not just an account of a magical trek and its uncanny, sweetcorn settings, but an argument for how voting with your feet and leading with your heart really can matter.

Jack hails from the Heritage Farm his family settled prior to the Civil War. The author of many books of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literary journalism on the past and present of his native Midwest, he teaches at North Central College.

Hohn has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, Hopwood Awards in essay and poetry, and a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship. His work has appeared in publications including Harper's Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and Outside, and was included in "The Best Creative Nonfiction."

The descriptively titled Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them, winner of several starred reviews using words including "dazzling" and "enthralling," is his first book.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Jan Weissmiller, Winston Barclay, University News Services,