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Published April 26, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

Chalk it up to artistic influence: Novelists Cormac McCarthy and Thomas McGuane have more in common than just a fondness for the ponies. "Some Horses," a volume of McGuane's essays the Lyons Press is bringing out in May, shares a remarkably similar cover design with McCarthy's 1994 novel "The Crossing," which was published by Knopf.

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A University of Iowa spokesman, Winston Barclay, takes exception to Salon Books' April 13 log, "Multitude of Wins." Salon examined three years' worth of Scribner's "Best of the Fiction Workshops" volumes and tallied up the number of stories representing each program; Iowa came out in the middle. Barclay responds via e-mail, "Ranking graduate writing programs on the basis of inclusions in a single anthology of student writing is surprising." He adds, "I couldn't help but be amused by the juxtaposition of briefs" in that day's log, since the following item announced that the winners of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize included Iowa alumni Mark Strand and Michael Cunningham. "Of the 20 fiction and poetry Pulitzers awarded in the '90s," Barclay points out, "nine have gone to University of Iowa graduates."

By Craig Offman

Craig Offman is the New York correspondent for Salon Books.

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