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Celebrated author Valerie Laken will read from her work as part of the Writers in the Library series on February 25.

The reading will be in the Hodges Library Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Laken recently published her second book, the short story collection Separate Kingdoms. The stories are set in the United States and Russia and were partially inspired by her travel and work in Eastern Europe.

Her first novel, Dream House, was named one of the Best Books of 2009 by Kirkus Reviews and one of the Top Ten Best First Novels of 2009 by Booklist.  It was based on her experience with renovating a house that had been the site of a homicide.

Laken teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She previously taught at the University of Michigan. She has also worked in Moscow; Prague; Krakow, Poland; and Madison, Wisconsin.

Her work has been featured in Ploughshares, the Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, the Writer and the Chicago Tribune.

Writers in the Library is sponsored by UT Libraries and the Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For more information contact Marilyn Kallet, director of UT’s Creative Writing Program (, or Christopher Hebert, writer in residence at UT Libraries (

For more information about Valerie Laken, visit her website.

Upcoming Writers in the Library events will feature:

  • March 11: T Cooper, novelist and author of Real Man Adventures
  • April 8: Adam Prince, a UT graduate and author of the short story collection The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men
  • April 15: Poets Marilyn Kallet and Arthur Smith, both UT English professors
  • April 25: Winners of UT’s creative writing awards

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Holly Gary (865-974-2225,