The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Prairie Lights hosts Chuck Palahniuk for a live signing

Palahniuk released his latest novel, “Not Forever, But For Now” on Sept. 5, and has been on tour since then.
Shuntaro Kawasaki
Chuck Palahniuk signs a copy of his new book “Not Forever, But For Now” at Prairie Lights in Iowa City on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. Palahniuk is a novelist publishing fiction, nonfiction, and adult coloring books.

Prairie Lights Bookstore hosted “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk on Thursday who signed copies of his latest book, “Not Forever, But For Now.”

The novel was released Sept. 5, and tells the thrilling story of a family of professional killers.

The event began at 11 a.m. with dozens of fans lining up on the upper floor of the bookstore to have their copies signed. One of these fans was Jill Michaels who traveled from northern Illinois with her friend.

Michaels has been a Palahniuk fan for over 20 years, and this is the second signing of his that she has attended. She shared that she felt Palahniuk’s work never tells the reader what to think, rather it allows them to think for themself.

Additionally, she spoke about her collection of Palahniuk’s books, sharing that she realized she was a fan when her collection went from paperbacks to hardcovers, a notable change in the investment she was putting in.

“‘Choke’ was the book that I read the most, over and over again,” Michaels said, “It really got me into his writing style. From there, I just became obsessed.”

Kathleen Johnson, the events coordinator at Prairie Lights, shared that Palahniuk draws in a large and enthusiastic crowd. She said Palahniuk’s fans have a particular degree of familiarity with his work.

“They are hardcore fans,” Johnson said. “They often collect his books and different merch and things [associated] with the books.”

Palahniuk has an equally close relationship with his fans, shared Johnson, receiving many letters and engagements through his website.

For authors, book tours are a way to meet the people who are reading their works and engage with them, especially in such a solitary field as writing, where writers often work alone. While the process of writing a book takes place alone, once the book is published, authors can experience their work with a community.

According to her, Prairie Lights schedules book tours when publishers send out lists of authors with books coming out. Independent bookstores like Prairie Lights select authors who would draw in a good audience, and then write proposals for their respective publishers.

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She said Iowa City has a large population of Palahniuk fans, so Prairie Lights make sure to include information like that in the proposal.

Crowds were excited about Palahniuk’s first visit to Iowa City in July 2020, so it made sense to invite him again. Johnson also shared that Iowa City is a great place for authors to visit because of its large literary community.

“[Writing] is such a lonely art — or it can be — so it’s just a fun opportunity to have a dialogue between the creator and the appreciators,” Johnson said.

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About the Contributors
Emma Gaughan
Emma Gaughan, Arts Reporter
Emma Gaughan is a second-year student at the University of Iowa, studying psychology and criminology, as well as completing a writing certificate. She is from West Des Moines, where she developed her love of both writing and the arts.
Shuntaro Kawasaki
Shuntaro Kawasaki, Photojournalist
Shuntaro Kawasaki is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry and Cinema. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Shuntaro has interned at the Carver College of Medicine, writing a research paper.