Kristi Bontrager, University Libraries, 319-335-5960
Mystery writer Ridley Pearson, science writer Carl Zimmer, and novelist Laura Moriarty are among a rich lineup of writers who will take part in the Iowa City Book Festival (ICBF) this summer, the University of Iowa Libraries announced today.
The ICBF is a three-day celebration of books, reading, and writing presented by UI Libraries Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15. The book festival will begin on Friday with a Literary Carnival at the Hotel Vetro. Saturday is festival day on the UI Pentacrest and Capitol Street with booksellers, music, children’s activities, book arts demonstrations and readings and panel discussions. Sunday will be “A Day in the City of Literature.” Local businesses of all kinds throughout Iowa City will participate with readings and special activities all day.
Pearson has crafted nearly thirty novels. With ten million copies of his work in print, he has earned a reputation for writing fiction that grips the imagination. His crime novels emphasize dazzling investigative detail, and, all too often, imitate life. His previous novels have helped solve two real-life homicides, helped settle an environmental lawsuit, and regularly tackle subjects that eerily become national news after he writes about them. His forthcoming novel, The Risk Agent, will be published June 19 by Putnam.
Zimmer is the author of twelve books about science. In his books, essays, articles, and blog posts, Zimmer reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. He is a guest on radio programs such as Radio Lab and This American Life. Zimmer is a lecturer at Yale University, where he teaches writing about science and the environment. A Planet of Viruses pulls back the veil on this hidden world. It presents the latest research on how viruses hold sway over our lives and our biosphere, how viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, how viruses are producing new diseases, how we can harness viruses for our own ends, and how viruses will continue to control our fate for years to come.
Moriarty earned a degree in social work before returning for her M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. She was the recipient of the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and is now a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. Her most recent novel is The Chaperone published by Riverhead. She lives in Lawrence, Kans., and is at work on her next novel.
Festival programming on Saturday also includes nonfiction writers Zach Wahls, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family; Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon; Carol Scott-Conner, A Few Small Moments; Amy Stewart, Wicked Bugs; Evelyn Birkby, Stories from Up a Country Lane; Catherine Friend, Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep and Enough Wool to Save the Planet; Mary Jane Nealon, The Beautiful Unbroken; Michael Schulman, New Yorker’s Talk of the Town; Rachel Shukert, Everything is Going to Be Great.
Fiction writers featured at the ICBF are Robert Goolrick, Heading Out to Wonderful; Dean Bakapoulos, My American Unhappiness; Christopher Farnsworth, Red, White and Blood; Mary O’Connell, The Sharp Time; Donald ray Pollock, The Devil All the Time; BK Loren, Theft; Patrick Somerville, This Bright River; and Larry Baker, Love and Other Delusions.
In addition to children’s book characters and other hands-on activities for kids, the ICBF has expanded programming by inviting children’s authors: Jim Aylesworth, Our Abe Lincoln; Arthur Geisert, Enchanted Lion; Peter Roop, Baby Whale’s Long Swim. In the afternoon, short children’s films will be showing in International Commons in the University Capitol Centre.
Teen programming will include young adult authors, Molly Backes, Princesses of Iowa and Wendy Delsol, Frost. Again this year teens can participate in a Hunger Games event on Sunday afternoon that includes training in survival techniques and a “fight to the death.”
The UI Libraries is partnering with the UI Pentacrest Museums, UI Press, Iowa City Public Library, the UNESCO City of Literature, University Book Store, Iowa Book and Prairie Lights Book Store to organize ICBF. The ICBF receives significant support from Humanities Iowa as well as the OutLoud! The Metro Library Network Author Series, Community Foundation of Johnson County and the City of Iowa City.
For more information about the ICBF, to register as a vendor at the festival or to submit a program idea for the Day in the City of Literature activities, visit www.iowacitybookfestival.org.