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Reading from "The Book of Dead Birds"

UC Riverside to Host Author Gayle Brandeis

Winner of Bellwether Prize to Read as part of Creative Writing Series

(April 28, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Gayle Brandeis, a novelist whose first book has earned a 2002 Bellwether Prize, will give a free, public reading at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the University of California, Riverside Science Library, room 240.

Her visit is the last in a year-long reading series sponsored by the UC Riverside Department of Creative Writing.

“We bring eminent authors in various genres to campus throughout the school year, so they can read their most recent work and so they can interact with our undergraduate and graduate students,” said Maurya Simon, professor and chair of Creative Writing. “We open it to the public because we like to involve the community in our events.”

HarperCollins Publishers will release Brandeis’ novel, “The Book of Dead Birds,” this week. It tells the story of a woman and her daughter in settings that range from rural Korea to the Salton Sea. Toni Morrison, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993, described the book as having an “edgy beauty.”

Morrison was a judge for the 2002 Bellwether Prize, founded by novelist Barbara Kingsolver, to recognize a first novel that is both superbly written and socially conscious. Awarded every two years, it comes with a $25,000 prize. Judges for the 2002 contest, in addition to Morrison, were Maxine Hong Kingston, and editor Terry Karten.

Brandeis, who lives in Riverside, holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, and has been involved with community programs for many years, as a volunteer and through her writing.

Parking on campus costs $6 per day. Maps and directions are available at parking kiosks at entrances to campus.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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