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Writers’ Workshop graduate to debut novel at Prairie Lights with reading

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Lucy Ives will read from her newest novel, Impossible Views of the World.

By Natalie Betz

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Lucy Ives has graduated from Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She also has a Ph.D. from New York University in comparative literature, according to her website. She has written nine books, including her newest novel released in early August, Impossible Views of the World.

She will read sections of the book at Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque St., at 7 p.m today.

Prairie Lights described Impossible Views of the World as “a curator at Manhattan’s renowned Central Museum of Art [who] encounters a mysterious map of a 19th-century utopian settlement, which sends her on an all-consuming research mission that charts a course out of the chaos of her own life.”

“I’ll read a funny, and sad, and maybe slightly shocking early section of the book,” Ives wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan. “It’s one of my favorite passages, and I’ve chosen it because I think it gives you little tastes of the many ways my narrator is capable of being.”

Part of the novel is inspired by Ives’ dissertation, for which she researched museums, as well as her experience as a graduate student. The narrator of the book bears a slight resemblance to Ives, but once she created the narrator, Stella Krakus, Ives said, she was more inspired by the character.

Although the book is mostly fiction, Ives said, her mother was also a curator, which also helped inspire her work.

Creating characters wasn’t too difficult for her. Instead, she said, the hardest part of writing her novel was hearing people tell her that it was too big of a risk to “put so much energy into a book.”

In a New York Times review of the book, Susan Coll wrote, “It’s a smart novel brimming with ideas about love, art, personal agency, a lack thereof and, for the astute reader, a couple of minor characters sporting J. Crew.”

Reading of Lucy Ives’ novel, Impossible Views of the World

When: 7p.m. today

Where: Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque

Cost: Free

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