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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2002
Best-selling author, alumnus Greg Iles ‘thrills’ Oxford campus April 30

April 29, 2002

OXFORD, Miss. — Best-selling thriller novelist and University of Mississippi (UM) alumnus Greg Iles returns to his alma mater Tuesday, April 30, to teach and talk about his literary career.

Iles plans to show a clip of the movie Trapped during his 7 p.m. free, public presentation in Old Chemistry auditorium. An adaptation of his book 24 Hours (Signet Books, 2001), the movie is slated for September release by Columbia Pictures. He has written four other crime thrillers.

Iles’ visit to the university is sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English.

A 1983 UM graduate, Iles also plans to visit with students in master creative writing classes. “Even as an undergraduate, he was an outstanding writer,” said Dr. Michael Dean, associate dean of the UM College of Liberal Arts and an associate professor of English. “I am not at all surprised at the tremendous success Greg has enjoyed as a writer. I am pleased to say that he was one of my students.”

Iles was born in Germany, where his father ran the U.S. Embassy Medical Clinic at the height of the Cold War. At work on his sixth novel, Iles lives in Natchez with his wife and two children.

Students can learn a lot from Iles, whom literary critics have praised widely, said Dr. David Galef, an associate professor of English who directs the master of fine arts program.

“Iles is young and yet he’s already made his mark as a writer, which is no easy task,” Galef said. “I think it will be interesting for students to talk with him and see what he did to get there.”

Trapped, which began filming last March, features actors Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron, Courtney Love, Stuart Townsend and Dakota Fanning. The movie is about a Mississippi physician and his wife who are forced to deal personally with the kidnappers of their diabetic daughter.

Iles’ latest novel, the critically acclaimed Dead Sleep (Putnam, 2001), is being developed into a movie by Warner Bros. Iles’ other novels are The Quiet Game (Signet Books, 2000), Mortal Fear (Signet Books, 1998), Black Cross (Signet Books, 1995) and Spandau Phoenix (Signet Books, 1994).

For Black Cross, Iles was awarded the Mississippi Author’s Award for Fiction and the Bertelsmann Award for New Fiction, after being nominated by renowned author John Grisham.

For several years, Iles worked as a guitarist and vocalist for the band Frankly Scarlet, and he writes and records original music with a few close friends. He regularly performs with the Rock Bottom Remainders, an all-author rock band, including members Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Steven King, Amy Tan, Scott Turow, Kathie Goldmark, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr. and Barbara Kingsolver.

For additional information, call 662-915-7439. Those requiring special assistance because of a disability also should contact the sponsor.

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