Summer Writing Festival authors to read from their work
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Sample four novels, including three by instructors from the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa, in free readings July 16-18 at Prairie Lights Books, or through the UI Writing University website.
- Iowa Writers’ Workshop alumna Amber Dermont, who is teaching in the festival, will read from her debut novel, The Starboard Sea, at 7 p.m. Monday, July 16.
- Summer Writing Festival instructor B.K. Loren will read from Theft at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17.
- Ann Bauer, another Iowa Summer Writing Festival teacher, will read from The Forever Marriage at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 18.
- Joshua Henken will read from The World Without You at 8:30 p.m. July 18 in the Times Club at Prairie Lights.
The Starboard Sea, set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, examines the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member Marilynne Robinson wrote, “With unflinching wit, Amber Dermont examines the harsh vicissitudes of life.”
Dermont’s short stories have appeared in Dave Eggers’s Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005, Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story, and Jane Smiley’s Best New American Voices 2006. She teaches at Agnes Scott College in Georgia.
Loren has worked as a naturalist, and Theft features Willa Robbins, a master tracker working to reintroduce the Mexican wolf, North America’s most endangered mammal, to the American Southwest. When Colorado police recruit her to find her own brother, Zeb, a confessed murderer, she knows skill alone will not sustain her. Ivan Doig commented, “Theft is an ambitious and distinctive fiction debut, taking us into the lives of two endangered species, Mexican wolves and a Southwest underclass family, equally hunted by fate.”
Loren has also worked as a professional brainstormer, assistant chef, ranch hand, furniture maker, UPS driver, and college professor. She currently teaches writing at Chatham University’s low-residency program.
Bauer's novel brings to life the tale of one faithless widow. Carmen wishes Jobe, the husband she never loved, dead—only to fall in love with him after he is gone. As she helps her three children grieve, she discovers, after a tryst with her most recent lover, that her own life may be in danger.
Bauer, author of the novel A Wild Ride up the Cupboards, is an essayist, journalist, and fiction writer whose work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Salon.com, and other publications. She is currently a visiting professor at Macalester College in Minneapolis.
The World Without You is a story that tenderly explores family dynamics and the ties that bind, and even lacerate. Set one year after the death of their kidnapped journalist son, Leo, in Iraq, David and Marilyn Frankel, nonpracticing Jews, call their entire mishpocha to their summer home in the Berkshires to attend his memorial service. “This book is witty and wise, poignant and heartfelt,” said Gery Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story. I can’t imagine a world without Joshua Henkin.”
Joshua Henkin is also the author of Swimming Across the Hudson, which was selected by the Los Angeles Times as a notable book of the year. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, Brooklyn College, and the 92nd St. Y in New York City.
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