With LitCity Lore, we periodically feature a story from our new LitCity website, which maps unique Iowa City literary stories to the locations where writers lived, worked, gave readings, socialized and were inspired by the town.
This week we are highlighting Abraham Verghese’s reading at Prairie Lights Bookstore.
Verghese raves about Prairie Lights Bookstore in the collection My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop:
I was at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop from 1990 to 1991. I spent so much time (and money) at Prairie Lights that even now, much of what is on the shelves in my study comes from that period. And so many volumes I was guided to by the incredible and long-tenured staff who would plop a book into my hands and say, “You must read this.” Or they would guide me to a specific author reading. Jim Harris, who owned it then, and also Jan Weissmiller and Paul Ingram and so many others, were our professors in a way, shaping our sensibilities, but most important, treating us as serious writers, people with great potential even though, at that stage, we did not have that kind of faith in ourselves. What we had was hope and dreams and a love of literature and deep doubts as to whether anything would come of it all.