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Five questions with: author Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak was already a successful author before the publication of The Book Thief, the novel that propelled the Australian writer to international stardom, in 2005. But it was another book that he struggled to write for many years. Zusak is returning to Eastern Iowa to read from Bridge of Clay at the Iowa City Public Library on Monday, Oct. 21. […]

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Album Review: Al Naylor — ‘Friends’

It’s impossible to consider Al Naylor’s album Friends without addressing the underlying fact behind its creation. Naylor — nothing short of a legend in the region’s jazz community as both an educator and a player — has been diagnosed with a health condition that will soon force his early retirement from performing. In the face of the news, […]

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Five authors to meet at the fourth annual I.O.W.A. book festival

This year’s edition of the I.O.W.A. book festival is set for Sept. 7 and 8 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The acronym stands for Imagine Other Worlds with Authors, and the writers on the slate certainly represent a wide array of literary worlds. From fantasy to mystery to romance and more, the festival offers readers an opportunity […]

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Album Review: Jarrett Purdy — ‘Motion & Stillness’

Motion and Stillness by Jarrett Purdy Garrett Purdy is a pianist, a composer and a recent graduate of the University of Iowa’s School of Music (and through the end of July, he’s an intern at Hancher Auditorium, where I am on staff). His debut album, Motion & Stillness, is entirely made up of his jazz […]

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Cedar Rapids’ Carnegie Library was one for the books

My wife believes there are too many books in our house. I, on the other hand, am quite sure there are not enough. When I imagine what “enough” might look like, I call to mind the first floor of the Carnegie Library in Cedar Rapids — my first library and the place, it seemed to me as a small child, where all the books in the world were housed. […]

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Book Reviews: Five titles from the Indie Star Book Festival

Craig Hart is becoming something of a force on the local literary scene. A resident of Iowa City, Hart is a writer of mysteries, thrillers and more. He’s also the host of The Games & Writers Show podcast, which launched in February and features extended interviews with authors and actors. On May 18, Hart, via his own Northern Lake Publishing, is hosting the Indie Star Book Festival. […]

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Jaime Hernandez reflects on 38 years of his influential ‘Love & Rockets’ comics series

Los Bros Hernandez — Jaime, Gilbert and Mario — self-published the first issue of Love and Rockets in 1981. Since then, they (primarily Jaime and Gilbert) have created a substantial body of work. So substantial, in fact, that it can be intimidating to new readers. But don’t ask Jaime Hernandez where to start. “I throw […]

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Four Iowa City-connected writers to see at Mission Creek Festival

The 2019 Mission Creek Festival includes, as always, a robust literary lineup. Many of the featured authors have a connection to Iowa City. Of these, four have grabbed my attention. Sabrina Orah Mark Visual Poetry Synthesizer Saturday, April 6, 4 p.m. — 7 S Linn St Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum Sabrina Orah Mark pushes the […]

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Five questions with: novelist Salvatore Scibona

Salvatore Scibona’s 2008 debut novel, ‘The End,’ was nominated for the National Book Award. Scibona, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, now has a second novel on the shelves: ‘The Volunteer.’ Scibona will be reading from ‘The Volunteer’ at Prairie Lights on Monday, March 11. […]

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The flood of 2008 left winners and losers in Cedar Rapids

The 10-year anniversary of the devastating floods of 2008 lends itself to a certain kind of narrative — one in which we extol the resilience of our communities and shine a light on successes that seem to point toward a future filled with sunshine after the rain. And to be fair, that narrative is, in many ways, true. But it isn’t the whole story. […]

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Review: Sandra Allen’s ‘A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise’

Mission Creek: Sandra Allen Reading MERF, Room 2136 (375 Newton Rd, Iowa City) — Friday, April 6 at 12 p.m., Free Mission Creek Lit Walk: Sandra Allen Saint Burch (127 Iowa Av, Iowa City) — Friday, April 6 at 6 p.m., Free Sandra Allen had a fondness for her Uncle Bob, but she wasn’t sure […]

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