Chapter One

Once upon a time, a graduate program in the English Department at the University of Iowa brought a handful of ladies to Iowa City.  They each hauled with them boxes upon boxes of novels and essays and poems, gradually discovering that the only thing they loved as much as reading those books was talking about them with newfound friends.  They discussed the texts they were teaching in their basement offices. They whispered amazing passages to each other over lattes at the Java House.  They wandered through Prairie Lights together, kindred spirits happy in the company of each other and the thousands of books surrounding them.  Now flung far and wide, they are reconvening here to keep the conversation going, and they (or we, as the case may be) invite you to read along and join them in chronicling their — and your! — literary escapades.  Welcome!