Don't Expect a Photo-op

Garry Mauro, Texas Land Commissioner, is the recent author of Beaches, Bureaucrats, and Big Oil, which begins thus: "I never would have dreamed that a decision to go to a 1986 beach cleanup and risk missing a Texas A&M-Baylor football game would ultimately make me the enemy of international oil companies, the plastics and shipping industries, the United States Navy brass, and lobbyists and bureaucrats throughout the land. I thought it was just a photo opportunity." If the rest of the book is as candid as this, count us in for his appearance at Book People on Wednesday, July 9 at 7pm to read and sign the book.

Muse Makes Appearance

Today, Thursday, July 3 at 7:30pm Barnes & Noble Westlake (701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy.) cosponsors a Poetry Workshop with the Austin Writers' League and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The workshop is open to all; bring 10 copies of a one-page poem. Most workshop sessions last about an hour and a half, but could last as long as the muse imbues the participants with her celestial light. If you can't make this month's workshop, it is held the first Thursday of every month. Call 328-3155 for more information.

Agents! Awards! Agents!

Looking ahead to July 19-20, the Austin Writers' League is holding a conference with 11 literary agents from around the nation who will be speaking on various panels, small group roundtables, and private consultations. Eugene Winick, president of McIntosh & Otis, Ellen Roberts, owner of Where Books Begin in New York, and Jeff Herman, author of the Writer's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents, will be present, among others. Topics include query letters and book proposals, terms of a fair contract, and the agent's role before and after the sale. Cost is $165 for League members and $200 for nonmembers... The deadline for the League's Seventh Annual Violet Crown Awards is July 31. Three $1,000 prizes will be offered for best books in fiction, nonfiction, and literary categories for books published between September 1, 1996 and July 31, 1997. The awards are cosponsored by the University Co-op; awards will be presented September 21. Authors must be League members, but may join when the entry is submitted. For more information, call 499-8914.

Ongoing: Don Bachardy's exhibit Confrontations, portraits of famous literary figures like Tennessee Williams, E.M. Forster, Anaïs Nin, W.H. Auden, and Lilian Hellman among others, is showing at the Leeds Gallery at the Flawn Academic Center on the UT campus until August 15. Bachardy's portraits hedge the fine line between formal and frenetic; they are clear, elegant insights into literary figures to which we readers rarely receive such benign, open access.

Half Price Books announces their Summer Reading Program for children 15 and under, held through August 31. Pick up a Bookworm form at any HPB store. The Bookworm form consists of a disembodied worm whose missing segments you fill in each time your child reads or is read to for 25 minutes. Completed forms may be taken to any HPB store for discounts and chances to win air tickets from Southwest Airlines.

Half Price Books also has published the 1997 edition of Say Goodnight to Illiteracy, a book of bedtime stories intended to raise money for literacy programs. This third volume of the collection, which retails at Half Price locations for $2.98, highlights the 25th anniversary of the Dallas-based chain with 25 stories, selected from over 1,000 entries in a contest earlier this year.

Among the winners are two Austinites:
9-year-old Hahna Muehlberger wrote "The Ladybug That Came to Tea" and Grand Prize Winner Lynn Brooks is the author of "Goodnight Sleepy Jungle Animals." Brooks and the two other Grand Prize winners received $500 gift certificates, and Muehlberger and her fellow winners won $50 gift certificates.

Writers wishing to submit stories for possible inclusion in next year's edition should look for forms at Half Price locations this fall. Stories will be due by December 31 of this year.

Book news for "Post Scripts" must be received at least one week before the issue date. Mail to: The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765; fax 458-6910; or e-mail

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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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