Elevate Difference

Reviews of University of Iowa Press

Where Do Birds Live?

There are few things in life better than large, hardcover, richly-illustrated children’s books. As a child, these were the books I most often pulled from the library shelves. Beautiful visuals invite the eye to stay for a while, while skilled writing engages and challenges the mind.

The Company of Heaven: Stories from Haiti

Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell's collection of short stories, The Company of Heaven, is an unkind narrative of Haiti and Haitians. It is unkind in the way one can be unkind when recalling a sibling’s awkward puberty or seeing for the first time, the humiliation of a parent by a stranger in a public place. She is unkind to her Haitians and yet she remains a family member, intimately invested and loyal. It is difficult to like even one of her characters, however, it is even more difficult to look away from them.

Her America: “A Jury of Her Peers” and Other Stories

Popular in her own time, Susan Glaspell has somewhat fallen out of favor in contemporary academic circles while other American writers of realist fiction such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Willa Cather have enjoyed more attention.

A Little Middle of the Night

Molly Brodak’s poetry collection A Little Middle of the Night is wide in its range: big dog topics like perceptions of art and the weight of tragedy are sifted through by a careful and talented poet.

All That Work and Still No Boys

In All That Work and Still No Boys, Kathryn Ma writes short stories with one thing in common: the Chinese American experience in California. This book is not for those who like conventional storytelling. Each chapter is the story of a person or family, sometimes related to another person or family in the book and sometimes not at all.

How to Leave Hialeah

In real life, I have had only a small glimpse of Miami, driving through on the way to the Florida Keys. After reading Jennine Capó Crucet’s story collection How to Leave Hialeah, I feel I have witnessed Miami life on the most intimate levels. This debut story collection won the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the thirty-fourth Annual Chicano/Latino Literary Prize.

The Adventures of Cancer Bitch

Laying it out there with stunning realness, incorporating funny yet saddening as well as humorous but serious moments, S. L. Wisenberg presents blog entries of her journey through breast cancer discovery, surgery, and recovery in The Adventures of Cancer Bitch.

Reforming the World: Social Activism and the Problem of Fiction in Nineteenth Century America

Reforming the World: Social Activism and the Problem of Fiction in Nineteenth-Century America explores the complex relationship between American social activism and literature in the nineteenth century. At times symbiotic, at times turbulent, this relationship was formed both by the power of literature and by the hopes and dreams of American social reformers for their country.


Monadnock. Ochers. Moraine. These are some of the terms you’ll find while reading Emily Wilson’s Micrographia. You will find yourself consulting Webster’s a lot. Unless, of course, you know a great deal about isolated rock hills and unconsolidated glacial debris. Heading spinning yet?

Great Expectations: A Father's Diary

Memoirs about preparing for the birth of a first child are easily located on library shelves. What aren’t so common, however, are those books addressing the particular experience of preparing for a second child.

Patient Listening: A Doctor’s Guide

We talked for 45 minutes. It didn’t take much. You’re not asking them to be a guru, a Tibetan monk, a psychologist, or practice in a different field. Just ask one more question, two more questions. Somehow everything comes into place much quicker. This patient’s story captures the meaning of this collection of prose by twenty-four writers who have extensive experiences as patients.

Entitled to the Pedestal: Place, Race, and Progress in White Southern Women's Writing,1920-1945

I have to be honest. This was not the easiest book to read or absorb. It reminded me of a book that might appear on a required reading for a college literature course.

A Place for Dialogue: Language, Land Use, and Politics in Southern Arizona

Sharon Stevens has dual intention for A Place for Dialogue. She has brought to light the conflicts between ranching, grazing and conservation in Southern Arizona.