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Abe Louise Young eulogizes Allison Crews; plus, a Texas Book Festival update, Bill Hicks across the pond, and June's event offerings

• First, some dismaying news relayed by Abe Louise Young, Austin poet and occasional Chronicle contributor: "It is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of Allison Noelle Crews, born Aug. 26, 1982. Hip mama extraordinaire, lesbian, writer, and activist, Allison was the longtime editor and producer of www.girlmom.com. ... Raised in an evangelical Christian home, Allison grew up in a family active in Operation Rescue. She birthed her son Cade at age 15, refused continual pressure to give him up for adoption, and became a powerful activist. Her story 'When I Was Garbage' describes her experiences as a pregnant teen. Allison was named one of Top 30 Under 30 Activists for Choice by Choice USA in 2003. Crews wrote, 'To radically accept and defend a woman's right to choose, we must acknowledge the multiple ways that women come to make reproductive choices. By marginalizing teenage mothers, even within the feminist community, we are failing to recognize the realities of countless women and their children.' In addition to her work as an activist, Alli had essays in the anthology Breeder: Real Life Stories From the New Generation of Mothers edited by Ariel Gore, worked at BookWoman, and attended Austin Community College. She was a heroine who found her voice within struggle, and inspired countless young women across the nation. Allison died in her home in Austin on Saturday, June 11, 2005. We grieve the loss of a young, fiery mama whose pain persisted though she worked to heal others. We honor her dedicated spirit and wish her the deepest peace. Donations to support her son can be sent by Paypal to girlmom@gmail.com." The Chronicle offers its deepest condolences to Crews' friends and family, who will honor her memory in services at the Presbyterian Church of Fall Brook, Calif., on Saturday, June 18, 1pm.

• The Texas Book Festival has released an in-progess list of attending authors for the 2005 gathering benefitting Texas libraries, Oct. 28-30, at the Capitol and its environs. Among them are Salman Rushdie, whose new novel, Shalimar the Clown, will be released in September; Alicia Erian (Towelhead), Noah Feldman (Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem – and What We Should Do About It), Myla Goldberg (Wickett's Remedy), Peter Guralnick (Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke), Jim Magnuson (The Hounds of Winter), Mayra Montero (Captain of the Sleepers), Alexander Parsons (In the Shadows of the Sun), the translator Liliana Valenzuela, and Paul Woodruf (First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea). For more information, see www.texasbookfestival.org.

Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution, billed as "The Definitive Biography by His Lifelong Friend," has been published by Harper Collins in the UK. We know it's excellent, because we have a copy, and occasional Chronicle contributor Michael Bertin co-authored it with Hicks attaché Kevin Booth. "There's no timetable for a U.S. release," Bertin said before heading to London. "So, I don't know if and when anything happens here." We'll keep you posted, and, in the meantime, you can purchase the book at www.amazon.co.uk.

• Go to the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown on Thursday, June 23, 7pm, for a screening of Jaws. Presented by BookPeople, the event will include an appearance by Dean Sluyter, whose Cinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons From the Movies unlocks the spiritual power of such films as Casablanca, The Graduate, and, yes, this little shark tale... On Tuesday, June 28, 5:30pm, the Austin Public Library's Cepeda branch will host a benefit at Nuevo Leon restaurant (1501 E. Sixth) for its Music Garden, "intended to recognize the contribution of East Austin musicians and to raise awareness about this important aspect of the city's musicalÊhistory." The Roots of the Live Music Capital will feature former big-band leaders Ruben and Ernest Perez... But before those two events is the Forbidden Fruit-sponsored Love With Our Mouth: An Evening of Oral Pleasures with Steve Almond (Candyfreak, The Evil B.B. Chow, and My Life in Heavy Metal) at BookPeople on Saturday, June 18, 7pm. Attendance will surely be reciprocated in some capacity, I imagine.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Allison Crews, Abe Louise Young, Bill Hicks:Agent of Evolution, Michael Bertin, Kevin Booth, Texas Book Festival, The Roots of the Live Music Capital, Love With Our Mouth: An Evening of Oral Pleasures, Dean Sluyter, Steve Almond, Ruben Perez, Ernest Perez, Cinema Nirvana, Salman Rushdie, Mayra Montero, Liliana Valenzuela, Alicia Erian

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