Chronicles of a Chronicler

One of Austin's great contributions to the worlds of both academia and music was John A. Lomax, the UT professor who was one of the first musicologists to take American folk music seriously as an academic discipline. He preserved America's endangered cowboy song heritage for later generations, and made the world aware of blues great Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter. Lomax's life was recently chronicled in Last Cavalier: The Life and Times of John A. Lomax, 1867-1948, by Nolan Porterfield (University of Illinois Press). Porterfield is the author of Jimmie Rodgers: The Life and Times of America's Blue Yodeler and his A Way of Knowing won the Best Texas Novel award of the Texas Institute of Letters. He will be in town to accept the 1997 Miss Ima Hogg Historical Achievement Award from the UT Center for American History (actually, he will receive it at noon on Sat., Mar. 22 at the Winedale Historical Center in Round Top), in addition to speaking at the Center on Mon., Mar. 24, 3-4pm (on the fourth floor of the Flawn Academic Center) and then signing copies on Tue., Mar. 25, 7-8pm at Bookstop Central Park.

Political Bigwigs

Two names of great importance in Democratic Party politics -- one local, one national -- will be in local bookstores this week promoting recent publications. After 30 years of representing Central Texas in Congress, Jake Pickle has racked up plenty of admirers in Austin. Now that he has retired and spends his time in his hometown instead of Washington, he can rub elbows with some of them -- Pickle will appear at Barnes & Noble in the Arboretum on Saturday, Mar. 22 and Congress Avenue Booksellers on Tuesday, Mar. 25 to promote his memoirs, Jake, recorded with the help of his daughter Peggy Pickle and published by University of Texas Press. Festivities are 4-6pm, beginning with an introduction by former Governor Ann Richards, who wrote the introduction to the book. Former U.S. Senator George McGovern, best remembered on the national stage for his 1972 candidacy for the presidency, no doubt will be meeting many of his former voters when he appears at Book People at 7pm on Wednesday, Mar. 26. McGovern will sign copies of Terry: My Daughter's Life-and-Death Struggle With Alcoholism. Tickets for the event will be given out at 9am that morning.

Texas Bound

For the fourth year in a row, Austin short story writer Tom Doyal has been invited to participate in the Texas Bound program of the annual Arts & Letters Live series at the Dallas Museum of Art. Doyal's "Suppressing the Grief Response" will be read by Dallas actor Katherine Owens at 6:30 and 8:30pm on April 7 in the museum's auditorium. Doyal's story won second prize in The Austin Chronicle's 1993 short story contest. For tickets, call 214/922-1219 or 214/922-1220.


* THU, MAR 20: Fantasy writer Raymond Feist will read from and sign copies of his Rage of a Demon King at Book People at 7pm... Author Robert Stone will give a reading at 7:30pm in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center's fourth-floor auditorium on the UT campus. Stone is the author of several novels, including Dog Soldiers, winner of the 1975 National Book Award.

* FRI, MAR 21: In celebration of Women's History Month, Book People presents local author Genevieve Vaughn, who will read from and sign copies of her For-Giving at 7pm.

* SAT, MAR 22: Dr. Shirley Peddy, a former Exxon executive, has recorded her experiences and insights into the corporate world in Secrets of the Jungle. She will discuss and sign copies of her book at Barnes & Noble (Arboretum), 2-3pm... Honoring Women's History Month, Book People will sponsor a reading by local poet Sue Littleton from her latest collection, Ranch on the Pecos, at 7pm.

* SUN, MAR 23: Dr. Andrew Weil, author of New York Times bestseller Spontaneous Healing, will discuss his new Eight Weeks to Optimal Healing Power at Book People at 2pm.

* MON, MAR 24: Peter Gomes, the preacher to Harvard University, will be at Book People at 3:30pm to discuss and sign copies of his The Good Book.

* TUE, MAR 25: The Women's Way Literary Festival will take place at Book People at 7pm with reading from Plain View Press writers and others, including Margo LaGattuta, Susan Bright, Jill Wiggins, Ana Sisnet, Lauren Hawkins Grevel, Arlene Jackson, Eve LaSalle Caram, Tammy Gomez, Cindy Huyser, Valerie Bridgeman Davis, and Lana Book. More readings will be held on Mar. 27.

* WED, MAR 26: Jane Mendelsohn, author of I Was Amelia Earhart, will appear at Barnes & Noble (Arboretum), 7:30-8:30pm.

* THU, MAR 27: Harriet Rochlin, author of Pioneer Jews and The Reformer's Apprentice, will present her slide show, "In a Rush: Jewish Women in the Early West," at Book People at noon... The Women's Way Literary Festival will take place at Book People at 7pm with reading from Plain View Press writers and others, including Margo LaGattuta, Susan Bright, Jill Wiggins, Ana Sisnet, Lauren Hawkins Grevel, Arlene Jackson, Eve LaSalle Caram, Tammy Gomez, Cindy Huyser, Valerie Bridgeman Davis, and Lana Book.

* FRI, MAR 28: Contributors to Wind Eyes -- A Woman's Reader and Writing Source will discuss their work at Book People at 7pm. The event, honoring Women's History Month, will include Susan Bright, Marty Burnet, Carol Cullar, and Margo LaGattuta.

* SAT, MAR 29: Rob Thomas, who has taught high school journalism for over five years and advised the University of Texas student magazine UTmost, will read from his new book, Slave Day, at Book People at 5pm. Thomas is the author of Rats Saw God.

* MON, MAR 31: Dancer, choreographer, and author Bill T. Jones will come to Book People at 7pm to sign copies of his book, Last Night on Earth.

* THU, MAY 22: The final reading in the five-part Copyright Texas series at the Central Library in San Antonio (600 Soledad St.) will begin at 6:30pm with readings from Elizabeth F. Hailey, Rosemary Catacalos, and Naomi Shihab Nye, with others to be announced.

* ONGOING: The Houston Writers Conference will present the "New Horizons" 1997 Writers Conference and Manuscript Contest, Mar. 20-22, at the Renaissance Houston Hotel. Call 713/528-1286... The exhibition The Life and Films of Warren Skaaren: Screenwriter is showing in the seventh-floor gallery of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center through June 27.

"Post Scripts" is for author appearances and booksignings; the deadline is two weeks before the issue date. Mail to The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765; fax 458-6910.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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More Postscripts
The last time we heard about Karla Faye Tucker, she was being executed; now, almost four years later, there's a new novel about her. Or about someone very like her. And Beverly Lowry's classic Crossed Over, a memoir about getting to know Karla Faye Tucker, gets a reissue.

Clay Smith, Jan. 18, 2002

Not one day back from vacation and the growing list of noble souls who need to be congratulated is making Books Editor Clay Smith uneasy.

Clay Smith, Jan. 11, 2002

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