His research dyeing himself black and traveling for six weeks around the American South took place in 1959, and in 1961, novelist-essayist-activist John Howard Griffin
's Black Like Me
sold the first of what would amount to more than 10 million copies. Griffin, a Dallas native who died in 1980, was survived by his wife, Elizabeth
, and she enlisted biographer and family friend Robert Bonazzi
's help in executing her husband's literary estate (the two would later marry). Then the force behind Latitudes Press, Bonazzi would eventually shut that seminal publisher down, starting Wings Press and moving to San Antonio in 2003. Wings published Griffin's Street of Seven Angels
, and earlier this year re-released Black Like Me
with a new foreword by Studs Terkel
, an afterword by Bonazzi, formerly unpublished photos, and, most notably, Griffin's 1979 essay "Beyond Otherness." Bonazzi will be at Barnes & Noble Sunset Valley
(5601 Brodie Ln., 899-3370), Friday, July 30, 7:30pm. You can make it if you try.
For the schedule of events surrounding the Mayor's Book Club/Keep Austin Reading citywide reading group selection of Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, see www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/mbc04_events.htm. APL's first discussion happens on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 7pm, at the Austin History Center, and will feature Dr. Leslie Jarmon, former regional director of the United States Peace Corps for Latin America.