Books can heal your soul and there are several ways to do so in the upcoming weeks in Austin. Also, this year's Violet Crown Award winners.
Violet Crown Winners
The winners of the Austin Writers' League's 1999 Violet Crown Awards were announced at a classy event at Barnes & Noble Westlake last Saturday. The winners include Tom Pilkington, a Tarleton State University professor, for his State of Mind: Texas Literature and Culture, in the poetry and prose category; Elva Treviño Hart in the nonfiction category for Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child; and Sarah Nawrocki in the fiction category for Camping With Strangers: And Other Stories.
Monday, September 27's PW Daily brought good news for Austin's Bard Press. The intriguing Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads, an oversized, illustrated book of advertising tips by Austin ad executive Roy H. Williams, debuted at the #1 business book spot on the Wall Street Journal's bestseller list on September 17 and this past week moved to #3. Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads is based on the "near-mystical" memos Williams distributes to his employees every Monday, according to PW Daily. Bard Press is also the publisher of the bestseller Nuts!: Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success.
Whole Life Expo
Tired of literary fiction that only offers vague, often depressing insight about how you should conduct your life? Visit the fourth Whole Life Expo October 8-10 at Palmer Auditorium, where quite a few authors (Gary Zukav, Gotham Chopra, and Dannion Brinkley, among others) will be providing very specific ideas about enlightenment and such. Call 800/551-3976 for more information.
Then again, if it's literary insight you're seeking, you might want to mark your calendars for this year's Stanley Burnshaw lecture at the Ransom Center. On Tuesday, October 26, at 6pm, Morris Dickstein (Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties), a professor at Queens College and CUNY, will be delivering a talk titled "Hard Times for Poets: Social Suffering and the Literary Imagination." The lecture will take place in the fourth floor auditorium of the Ransom Center.
'Twhat the Hell?
Prolific Austin author Trevor Romain suffered from test stress in school and has now co-authored a clever, charming little book called True or False? Tests Stink! (Free Spirit Publishing, $9.95 paper) with Elizabeth Verdick. There's a new name (new to me, at least) for the prime audience for this book, "'tweens," people stuck in the middle between elementary school and high school... That's just the audience local teacher and writer Jeff Williams is trying to reach with his new book, The Unkown Priestess, the first of many adventures of the Laurel Lane Club. Williams and illustrator Brad Saxon will be at Barnes & Noble Sunset Valley on Saturday, October 2, from noon-2pm.