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Iowa grad’s second novel, ‘Pigeon,’ pulls readers into a Parisian mystery, with a twist

Pres Maxson, a 2002 University of Iowa graduate, published his second novel, Pigeon, in October. The book, a rollicking romp through the made-up world of a Parisian uber-elite sports club, follows a young busboy mistaken for the world’s greatest detective as he tries to solve a decades-old mystery. […]

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‘Education is a currency for survival’: Jon Kerstetter on politics, war and recovery

Iowa City Book Festival Presents: Jon Kerstetter Prairie Lights — Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. In July of 2003, Jon Kerstetter, a U.S. Army National Guard combat physician, found himself in a rather bizarre situation. Despite a lack of training or certification in forensic pathology, Kerstetter was commanded to identify the dead bodies of […]

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En Español: Far from Venezuela, Iowa City is uncomfortably calm

¿Qué sucede cuando, en efecto, nadie te persigue? ¿Cómo te explicas el contraste generado entre la vida real que te espera al volver y este idilio en el Norte de todo? / What happens when there’s in fact no one persecuting you? How do you explain the contrast between the real life that awaits you when you return and this idyll in the North with everything? […]

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Hot Tin Roof: Wedding in Galena

Hot Tin Roof

We drive down blackjack road, thin and winding, hemmed by the woven trunks of trees and a sheer drop.
“It’s a beautiful town,” he says. “All these trees. The hills. The view.”
“I wonder if that’s why Nate and Matt picked it.”
No house lights. No streetlights. Only one working headlight on Fat Van.
(And it’s quiet. When was the last time we were anywhere quiet?) […]

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MusicIC returns for a seventh year of fusing literature with a classical repertoire

Too often overlooked among the series of festivals that bring an influx of artists to Iowa City is the MusicIC festival, now in its seventh year. Running June 21-24, the festival is presented by the UNESCO City of Literature organization. […]

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Hot Tin Roof: Public Service Announcement

Hot Tin Roof

Underwires: you’re
wearing them wrong!
You’re wearing the wrong
size the wrong way. For starters,
the band, not the straps, provides
primary support. For second, as any
mammographer knows, your breast tissue
extends halfway under your armpit, and as
the nice lady at La Petite Coquette in Union
Square will tell you, all that should be in your bra.
Grab the underwire under your arm with your near-
est hand while, with the other inside the cup (“May
I?”), pull your breast forward (NOT up!) and then (la
coup de grâce) tug gently on the outer cup edge to
situate. “And you’re in,” she affirms. “Your tits
should salute.” Well, hello there. A swell of
cleavage where never there was. I’m harn-
essed and ready to battle the city streets.
(If you’re now spilling out, go up a
cup size.) But rather than flaunt
my rank among the select few
with salutatory boobs, I here-
by bequeath this sacred
knowledge to you. And for
the record, underwires do
not cause breast cancer. […]

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Hot Tin Roof: Gratitude

Hot Tin Roof

So I’m like eight, and my hair is slicked with Vitalis, and I’m riding in the back seat of our old Ford station wagon, surrounded by my brothers and my sister, my parents up front, my old man smoking Tareytons. He’s rolled the windows up tight to seal in the goodness like Tupperware, and we’re rolling down the Mass Pike to GG’s funeral. […]

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