Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Thank You Book in the Bluff Supporters!!

Paulette Jiles (center) with contest winners.
Thank you to everyone that participated in the 2018 Book in the Bluff's reading of "News of the World", sponsored by Sterling Bank!  Without their assistance, we could not have provided the quality events for the community, culminating in the speaking appearance of bestselling author, Paulette Jiles.
Paulette Jiles speaking
 at the Tinnin Center.

Sterling Bank provided books to area Jr. and Sr. High students.  The bank's generosity didn't stop there as the students had the opportunity to compete in art and writing contests with $100, $50, and $25 cash prizes.  The Friends of the Library coordinated the collecting, displaying, and judging of the entries.

A question from an audience
member for Paulette Jiles.
Without a dedicated bookstore in town, Kroger of Poplar Bluff assisted by providing the public a local establishment to purchase their own copies of "News of the World".

Another question for Paulette Jiles
from an audience member.
Many thanks to loyal readers around town for placing out yard signs to spread word of the event.  The signs popped up in residential and commercial locations like a sign of Spring approaching!  Several retail locations with digital roadside signage gave the community-wide reading program an additional boost.

Additionally, two period films (Big Jake and The Searchers starring John Wayne) were shown in the library theatre, adding to the western ambiance. 

View of the audience in
attendance at the Tinnin Center.
The Kiowa Artifact Display has generated great interest among the community, including school-age children.  Visits by different grades from First Baptist, the Broseley Headstart, and Poplar Bluff Kindergarten (400+) have elicited many "ahhs" and "ohhs" as they excitedly ask questions about the exhibit. A special thanks to John "Johnny" Morris for loaning a piece of his vast collection to the library for our "Book in the Bluff".

Again, we thank all the participants for making this community-wide program a success and look forward to the next "Book in the Bluff" in 2020!!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Paulette Jiles nominated for Missouri Author Award

"News of the World" author, Paulette Jiles, has been nominated for the Missouri Author Award presented annually by the Missouri Library Association.

According to MLA's website, nominations are accepted for "one adult fiction and one adult nonfiction. The awards are to encourage and recognize Missouri authors and promote interest in local authors’ books, whether the books are about Missouri or another subject. Awards are based on literary merit. An honored author must be a Missourian by birth or have lived in Missouri for at least five years. The book for which the award is presented must have been published within the past three calendars years prior to the year of the Association Convention at which the award is presented. Reprints of works originally published prior to the cutoff year of the award are not eligible for consideration. An author’s body of work is ineligible. (The Missouri Literary Award already exists for that purpose). An editor or translator may be considered if the book is of value to the permanent record of the State. The honoree must be living. Each award consists of a $250 honorarium and a commemorative plaque."

Now, having said that, below are the questions and answers for the nomination.

Is the nominated work fiction or nonfiction?: Fiction

Title: News of the World

Author: Jiles, Paulette

Publication Information: Hardcover: 224 pages Publisher: William Morrow; 1st Edition edition (October 4, 2016) Language: English ISBN-10: 0062409204 ISBN-13: 978-0062409201

Author's Missouri Background: Born in Missouri, Lived at least 5 years in Missouri

The book shown above is nominated for the following reasons: 
Ms. Jiles is a Salem, Missouri native with deep roots in Butler County, Missouri.  She has maintained her connections with her native state visiting often with Missouri family.

News of the World is compelling from the first paragraph when Captain Kidd tells us he has served in three wars (War of 1812, Mexican American War and the Civil War).  Throughout the book as he follows his mission from North Texas to San Antonio to return a young girl captured in a Kiowa raid.

News of the World is a 2016 National Book Award finalist. In addition, the book was chosen as the 2017 Texas Great Read at the National Festival of Books in Washington, D. C. along with the 2017 Spur Award Nominee for Best Western Traditional Novel, and  2016 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction.

“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.”   http://paulettejiles.com/

Ms. Jiles has written other novels including Enemy Women set in the Civil War in Southeast Missouri.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Paulette Jiles Has Affinity for Libraries

Paulette Jiles Has Affinity for Libraries

"News of the World" Author
 To Lecture Here on March 8


Until she settled in Texas some 27 years ago, author Paulette Jiles, now approaching age 75, spent most of her time on the move to places as far-reaching as the Canadian Arctic and Mexico. But a major constant in her life, especially in her early years, has been her rewarding and positive experiences with public libraries.

Ms. Jiles will lecture on her acclaimed book, "News of the World," at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at the Tinnin Center Auditorium on the Three Rivers College campus. Her appearance is a highlight of the biennial Book in The Bluff "communitywide read" project sponsored by the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library and supported by a major donation from Sterling Bank.

Admission is free and Ms. Jiles will sign books, available for sale, after her program.

Ms. Jiles was born into a loving but nomadic family in 1943 in the Missouri Ozarks town of Salem. Her father, an insurance salesman, moved his family frequently to small cities across southern and central Missouri as he sought to improve his career.

"It was tough (getting readjusted) as we moved to different towns, but my mother, who read to me and my two siblings every night, would immediately find the local library and check out books. I knew our local libraries wherever we lived and I always trusted the librarians," Ms. Jiles recalled in a recent telephone interview.

"My dad was a veteran of World War II in the South Pacific. He was on Iwo Jima and witnessed the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi. Dad and all of his Jiles family were great talkers and story-tellers. They really knew how to shape the stories," Ms. Jiles says. "I loved to listen to them and learned a lot."

Ms. Jiles' father was one of eight children and she has 25 first cousins on his side of the family, several of whom live in the Poplar Bluff area.

After graduating from Kansas City's Central High School, the third one she had attended, she earned a degree in Romance languages from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and moved to Canada. There she applied for a job with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "I passed the French – you know Canada is bi-lingual – and got the job," Ms. Jiles said. "The job" was working in far northern Ontario and the Quebec Arctic to help set up village one-watt FM radio stations in the native languages of Anishinabe and Inuktitut.

Her work in the north included a stint teaching at David Thompson University at Nelson, B.C. After gaining dual citizenship, in 1984 she became the first American to earn Canada's coveted Governor General's Literary Award for English-language Poetry for her "Celestial Navigation." Renowned American poet Naomi Nye has described Ms. Jiles as "an absolute original in all genres, whether poetry, non-fiction or fiction. She has a power, a gift with language, and creation of character and scene unlike anything I've encountered. She is truly one of the world's greatest authentic writers."

Ms. Jiles believes that the strongest influence on writers of both poetry and prose are other poets and authors. She favors poet T.S. Eliot and authors Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway. "I like a lot of the southern writers, she says, " but I just never could get into (William) Faulkner. Most people are afraid to admit that."

In the late 1980s, on her return to Missouri at her mother's death, Ms. Jiles met retired Army Lt. Col. Jim Johnson, a native Texan and decorated Vietnam veteran (Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart). They fell in love and traveled together as Ms. Jiles did research in southern Missouri and elsewhere for a non-fiction book titled "Cousins," the story of her father's family. She worked on the book in Mexico, where she and Johnson lived after their travels.

After their marriage, her first and his third, they moved to San Antonio, where Ms. Jiles wrote "Enemy Women, " a Civil War story set in Southeast Missouri, and "North Spirit," about her time living in northern Canada.

While living in San Antonio, her love for libraries was rekindled on her visits to the Texana Collection at the city's Central Library. Ms. Jiles recalls long, happy hours working in that collection. "Oh, that was so much fun. I was doing my research for "Enemy Women" (set in southern Missouri) at the time but I got really distracted. They had such a good Texas section, I couldn't resist."

Her "distraction" with Texas history and lore paid off later when it drastically reduced her research required for later books set in Texas.

The couple divorced in 2003 and in 2004 Ms. Jiles moved to a 32-acre ranch near Utopia, a village of 300 in the Texas Hill Country. There she has written "The Color of Lightning" and "News of the World."

"News of the World," published in 2016, is Ms. Jiles' favorite among all her works. It tells the story of Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a Civil War veteran, who makes his living in 1870 reading East Coast and foreign newspapers to paying (a dime) small-town audiences in North Texas.

At a stop in Wichita Falls, Capt. Kidd reluctantly agrees (for a $50 gold piece) to return 10-year-old Johanna, who had been kidnapped four years earlier by Kiowa Indians after her family was slaughtered, to surviving relatives 400 miles south near San Antonio. Johanna, who has forgotten English, won't wear shoes, and refuses to act "civilized," is determined to escape back to her tribe.

But, as the miles pass, the wary Johanna slowly draws closer to the protector she calls "Kep-dun," and the pair forge a tender bond that helps them survive the dangerous and challenging journey by wagon.

"News of the World" was nominated for the prestigious National Book Award in 2016. It also was chosen as Texas' Great Read for 2017 by the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, representing Texas at the National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Although the project is in its early stages, Ms. Jiles has confirmed that movie company Fox 2000 intends to turn "News of the World" into a feature star vehicle for actor Tom Hanks, who will play Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd. Writer Luke Davies is adapting the book and Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Gail Mutrux will produce the film.

Ironically, Ms. Jiles' visit to Poplar Bluff next month will be her first public lecture appearance in southern Missouri, although two of her previous books, "Cousins" and "Enemy Women" are set in the region. She has come to Poplar Bluff frequently over the years to visit cousins and trail-riding friends. "I've just never been invited to speak," she said.

And what is Paulette Jiles doing these days? "I stay very busy doing volunteer work and lots of other things in our little town. We have lots of retired people." And, she writes.

She sings alto in a church choir, plays an Irish tin whistle in a bluegrass group called Pickin' on the Porch and rides her old horse Buck at every opportunity. She and her friends frequently ride in the Big Bend area of Texas, but she is skipping that trip this year because her faithful, old quarter horse has osteoarthritis and isn't up to those hard trails.

Through the generosity of Johnny Morris, founder and owner of Bass Pro Shops and a noted Springfield, Mo., conservationist and philanthropist, the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library is displaying a unique exhibit (until March 20) of Kiowa artifacts, many of which book character Johanna would have used and played with. Library Director Sue Szostak invites the public to visit the free exhibit during library hours and welcomes school groups by appointment.

A spokesman for Morris said the local exhibit represents the first time that items from his extensive private collection of native American artifacts have been loaned to an entity outside their permanent home at Morris' Top of the Rock Museum near Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake.

In addition to encouraging the general public to read "News of the World," the Poplar Bluff Library's Book in The Bluff committee has organized student participation throughout the junior and senior high schools in Butler County and is sponsoring both essay and art contests for children.

The essay entries will be news stories describing "The Great Brazos (River) Ten Cent Shoot-out," an episode from the book. Student artists may enter either artwork of an inanimate object from the book or a tattoo design of a Kiowa theme. Kiowa men and women of the day had both facial and full-body tattoos.

First-, second- and third-place winners of both the art and essay contests will receive prizes of $100, $50 and $25, respectively. The winners will be announced and prizes awarded at 6 p.m. on March 8 at the Tinnin Center an hour before Ms. Jiles is scheduled to speak at 7. She will participate in the presentation to the student winners.

Copies of "News of the World" are available in the Poplar Bluff Kroger Store's Book Department as a public service to the community.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Book in the Bluff / Kiowa Artifact Display Through March 20th

Stop by the library to see the exhibit of Kiowa artifacts between now and March 20th!  The artifacts are authentic items from the Kiowa Tribe coinciding with the time frame of "News of the World", the 2018 Book in the Bluff selection.

These items are on loan from the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum in Branson and owned by John "Johnny" Morris, also the owner of Bass Pro Shops.  He personally approved the loaning of the display to the library.

This display is a continuing part of the events surrounding the Book in the Bluff, culminating in the appearance of Paulette Jiles, author of "News of the World", on March 8th at the Tinnin Center at 7 PM.

The exhibit and author appearance are admission free.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Are you seeing signs of what's approaching?

Nothing dire in the form of an apocalyptic event by any means is taking place, nor implied!  Here, we're talking about Book in the Bluff signs.

Have you seen the yard signs scattered around town publicizing the Book in the Bluff?  If so, let us know where you've seen them.  Better yet, take a selfie and share it with us!  Be creative, we'd love to see what each of you come up with.

Thank you to all the individual community members and businesses for helping us share an important word: READ

Thursday, January 25, 2018

True Life Cases of Abductions Involving Native Americans

"News of the World" may be a work of fiction but events similar to those in the book did take place.  The site, historycollection.co, has 10 real life abductions you can read about by clicking here.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Kroger In PB Has "News of the World" Available For Purchase

Look for this display in the Book and Stationary Aisle of Kroger to purchase your very own copy of the current Book in the Bluff!

If you missed the previous Book in the Bluff, "The Boys in the Boat", copies of that are also available for purchase.