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Niffenegger and Rhodes at Iowa City Book Festival

The Iowa City Book Festival presented by the University of Iowa Libraries is pleased to welcome Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, and David Rhodes, author of Driftless, to this summer’s book festival July 16-18 in Iowa City.

In The Time Traveler’s Wife (MacAdam/Cage, 2003), Niffenegger initially conceived of the story of a time traveler and his wife as a graphic novel, however as the story progressed the issues of time shifting turned the format into a novel. It is an international best seller, and has been made into a movie starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. Niffenegger’s second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry (Scribner, 2009) opens with twins inheriting their aunt’s London flat adjacent to a cemetery where they find their aunt’s spirit lives on. It is a haunting tale about the complications of love, identity, and sibling rivalry. Niffenegger is currently working on her third novel, The Chinchilla Girl in Exile. She teaches at Columbia College in Chicago.

David Rhodes is a Midwest native. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1971. Five years later, a motorcycle accident left Rhodes paralyzed from the chest down, bringing his writing career to a temporary halt. In Driftless (Milkweed Editions, 2008), Rhodes returns to the Midwestern landscape he knows so well, offering a fascinating and entirely unsentimental portrait of a town apparently left behind by the march of time. Home to a few hundred people yet absent from state maps, Words, Wisconsin comes richly to life by way of an extraordinary cast of characters.

The Iowa City Book Festival is a three-day celebration of reading, writing and books. The University of Iowa Libraries will host a ticketed pre-festival author dinner on Friday in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library. On Saturday, festival activities will be held in Gibson Square outside the UI Main Library’s south entrance on the university campus. It will be a mix of booksellers, a music stage, children’s activities, food vendors, book arts demonstrations and readings and panel discussions. The festival wraps up on Sunday with “A Day in the City of Literature” which will feature authors and book-related activities in businesses throughout Iowa City.

Niffenegger and Rhodes will be part of the Shambaugh Author Series during the festival on Saturday.

For more information on authors and events, volunteering, or participating in the festival go online at Any specific questions or comments can be sent to the Iowa City Book Festival’s director, Kristi Bontrager, at