Charles Holdefer

An Iowa native author who’s lived in France for most of the past two decades is back in the state this week pitching his latest book.

Charles Holdefer grew up on a farm near Knoxville and says his novel, “Back in the Game,” covers a range of diverse topics, including romance, factory farms and meth addiction.

“It’s about a baseball player who’s at the end of his career and he ends up taking a teaching job,” Holdefer says. “He fakes his credentials actually and he gets, shall we say, parachuted into a small town in southern Iowa where he becomes involved with the characters of the community, so it’s also a book about a small, local community.”

The 52-year-old Holdefer is in Iowa City for the next few weeks, teaching the fundamentals of novel writing at the University of Iowa.

Holdefer says, “I’ve been living in Europe for the last 20 years but I get back every summer to teach in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and when I have a new book out like this year.” He says he’s not yet at the point where he can make a living only off his novels.

“I teach at the University of Poitiers in France,” Holdefer says. “Although it is my first love and I’ve written four novels now, it is necessary to have a day job in this day and age.”

He’ll be doing a reading today at 7 P.M. at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City. Learn more at: