News of The World by Paulette Jiles

1870, North Texas, rainy and cold. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels from town to town giving readings from the latest newspapers, bringing the news of the world to isolated towns on the Texas frontier. In Wichita Falls, he is asked to return a captive girl to her relatives near San Antonio, 400 miles to the south. The old man and the ten-year-old start out on a hazardous journey, no less risky because the girl considers herself now a Kiowa and does not have the slightest desire to return. Bandits and Comanche raids and violent weather make as many difficulties as the ten-year-old girl who can’t speak English eats with her hands and knows how to use a revolver. In the end, he finds he must return her to relatives who don’t want her, even though he and the girl have become trusting friends. A story of courage and honor and the truth that these two things are often the possession of even the unlikeliest people.

Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, TX.

Thanks, and We'll See You Soon!

We want to take a minute to express our gratitude to everyone who worked so hard for the better part of a year to make Gulf Coast Reads 2016 a success. Special thanks, of course, go out to our author, Jan Jarboe Russell, who traversed the region end to end and top to bottom with far more graciousness, good humor and gusto than we had any right to expect. Thanks also to Dr. Abbie Grubb, William McWhorter and our other visiting scholars whose expertise put the events described in The Train to Crystal City into other contexts both past and present. Thanks to Crystal City internee Eb Fuhr who joined us via Skype at Harris County Law Library for sharing his experiences. Finally, we want to thank all of the Gulf Coast Readers who attended programs and book discussions. It is your enthusiasm for reading and its power to strengthen communities that makes this program possible.

Until next time, we wish you all happy reading!

Author Talk @ Texas Southern University. Thursday, 6:30PM

Note: This program is your last chance during Gulf Coast Reads to hear Jan Jarboe Russell speak and to get a signed copy of The Train to Crystal City

That thousands of Japanese, German and Italians were sent to internment camps as "enemy aliens" is one thing, it is another thing entirely to use those people--some of the U.S. citizens--as bargaining chips to gain the release of other U.S. citizens captured abroad during wartime. As is so movingly illustrated in The Train to Crystal City, the strain that coerced "repatriation" put on families was immense. Thursday at Texas Southern University Library, Jan Jarboe Russell will this prisoner exchange program dubbed "Quiet Passage" in context of how war intensifies painful jolts to personal, family, cultural, and national status, and stymies opportunity.

This event will take place in the Honors College Auditorium in the basement of the Robert J. Terry Library on the TSU campus, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m and will be followed by a book signing.

Jan Jarboe Russell Talks About Motivations and Process @ San Jacinto College Tuesday

Writing a book takes serious committment. Think about the time and energy that goes into one, then think about the fact that in many cases, the writer has no guarantee that anyone will want to read the end product, let alone publish it. Tuesday at San Jacinto College, Jan Jarboe Russell will talk about what motivated her to write The Train to Crystal City, as well as her writing and research process. A book signing will follow.

Also of interest tomorrow, Jeffrey L. Littlejohn, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Studies in History, Sam Houston State University, will discuss The Train to Crystal City at Montgomery County - Charles B. Stewart West Branch and historian Dr. Abbie Grubb will review the events that fueled The Train to Crystal City with a special emphasis on the role of minority military units durning World War II.