Feature issue: Words 

The   Texas*
Books   Issue
           *(mostly)

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Scratching a niche



Indie, progressive presses target audiences looking for the stories behind the headlines





If you check out prominent displays at major bookstore chains or peruse best-sellers' lists, you will spot Thomas Friedman or Jon Stewart placed on an endcap or hovering in The New York Times' Top 20. Yet, as the corporate publishing world has become as predictable and formulaic as fast food, meaty intellectual books have ceded to cotton candy..." news`2`="news, culture, politics

Long overdue



After two years, SA hires a library director - Ramiro Salazar takes charge of our chronically underfunded public library





This is a tenuous time for public libraries, as funding shortages have prompted city officials in John Steinbeck's hometown of Salinas, California to threaten to close the local library. Citizens raised $500,000 to keep the three branches open one day a week. And officials in Bedford, Texas, a town of 26,000 in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, shuttered its library because of lack of funding..." news`3`="SA Current Online

A novel idea



Library looks at new district to help alleviate funding woes






English author and politician Augustine Birrell once said of libraries, 'They are not made; they grow.' If this is the case, San Antonio's public libraries are experiencing a growth slump. According to John Nicholas, chairperson of the San Antonio Public Library Board of Trustees, the city's libraries receive less per-capita funding - $12 - than libraries in any other major Texas city..." news`4`="news, culture, politics

By the book



Frates Seeligson Sr. is reading his way through history ... from the beginning





Since his 30s, Frates Seeligson has followed a self-made plan to read his way chronologically through world and American history, while enjoying books on public policy, sensual topics such as shad and caviar, and fiction. 'I try to average four books a month,' he told me, holding up a yellow legal pad filled with pages of titles, many scratched off..." news`5`="SA Current Online

Good looks



Visual culture has text on the ropes from San Diego to San Antone






I suppose that when someone utters the phrase 'cowboy art,' the painter Frederic Remington might come to mind... But I think of an unholy Texas trinity: minimalist sculptor Donald Judd, critic Dave Hickey, and Terry Allen, who is borderline indescribable except as a wild-card jack of all trades..." news`6`="


            
We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.

      Mark Twain
      A Tramp Abroad, vol. 2" news`7`="news, culture, politics

Moving target



A&M Press releases show that one Mexican-American political gain often means another challenge





In The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836-1981, historian Carlos Kevin Blanton heads into the contested territory of educators, politicians, and cultural activists. His well-documented study traces bilingual education in Texas from the state's origins as a republic to the passage in 1981 of landmark bilingual legislation..." news`8`="SA Current Online

Down and out of his mind



James Crumley's hard-living PI is back on the case ... and the coke






Chances are they exist in the real world, but good luck finding a sober private eye in crime fiction. From Philip Marlowe to Hoke Moseley the detectives and dicks of this genre like their booze, and for good reason. A right madness comes in handy when solving crimes..." news`9`="news, culture, politics

Well-read reads



Authors from around the world comment on what they are reading






I'm into an advance reading copy of Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted. No doubt he's become the new Vonnegut, in terms of social criticism, but with a bitter, brutal edge that's right for the times...

      Stewart O'Nan" news`10`="SA Current Online

Adventuring gone awry



Rick Bass imagines a feckless narrator caught in Santa Anna's infamous diezmo





Henry David Thoreau once said, 'Exaggerated history is poetry and truth referred to a new standard. He who cannot exaggerate is not qualified to litter truth.' Texas-born essayist and novelist Rick Bass loosely based his new book, The Diezmo, on the ill-fated Texan Meir Expedition of 1842. It is fiction written with rich poesy and hyperbole, and the kind of truth that comes with all good fables..." news`11`="news, culture, politics

It's the mummy!



Or is it just your mummy? A book on gothic film says 'both'






Hopkin's text does sometimes read like a lecture, with references flying fast and furiously and long sentences unfit for the casual reader, but for amateur students of film and literature it's a useful introduction to a 'concern with the fragmented and double nature of the self' (cue Donnie Darko, please) and other key elements that define one of the richest veins in art..." news`12`="SA Current Online

Not a navel-gazer in sight



A team of skillful interviewers extracts wisdom from Texas writers






The 50 writers featured in Conversations with Texas Writers represent a broad, comprehensive, and contemporary sampling of poets, fiction writers, essayists, screenwriters. Curiously enough, you won't find Sandra Cisneros here - a glaring absence - but you will find other San Antonio writers, including poets Wendy Barker, Angela de Hoyos, and Naomi Shihab Nye..." //expand or shorten this list of messages as desired var fadescheme=1 //set 0 to fade bgcolor from (white to black), 1 for (black to white) var hex=(fadescheme==0)? 255 : 0 var startcolor=(fadescheme==0)? "rgb(255,255,255)" : "rgb(0,0,0)" var endcolor=(fadescheme==0)? "rgb(0,0,0)" : "rgb(255,255,255)" var frame=20; var ie=document.all var ns6=document.getElementById var ns4=document.layers i=0 tickerobject=ie? subtickertape: ns6? document.getElementById("subtickertape") : document.tickertape.document function regenerate(){ window.location.reload() } function regenerate2(){ if (document.layers) setTimeout("window.onresize=regenerate",450) } function bgcolorfade() { // 20 frames fading process if(frame>0) { hex=(fadescheme==0)? hex-12 : hex+12 // increase or decrease color value depd on fadescheme tickerobject.style.backgroundColor="rgb("+hex+","+hex+","+hex+")"; // Set color value. frame--; setTimeout("bgcolorfade()",20); } else{ tickerobject.style.backgroundColor=endcolor; frame=20; hex=(fadescheme==0)? 255 : 0 } } function updatecontent(){ if (ie||ns6) bgcolorfade() if (ns4){ tickerobject.subtickertape.document.write(''+news`i`+'') tickerobject.subtickertape.document.close() } else tickerobject.innerHTML=news`i` if (i



Stories from the book issue

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Scratching a niche
By Lisa Sorg
Indie, progressive presses target audiences looking for the stories behind the headlines
click to enlarge news_salazar_2661_72jpg
Long overdue
By Michael Cary
After two years, SA hires a library director - Ramiro Salazar takes charge of our chronically underfunded public library
click to enlarge feat-haymarket1_72jpg
A novel idea
By Elyas Bakhtiari
Library looks at new district to help alleviate funding woes
click to enlarge cultfeat-frates_72jpg
By the book
By Elaine Wolff
Frates Seeligson Sr. is reading his way through history ... from the beginning
click to enlarge arts-artbook-dugout_72jpg
Good looks
By Elaine Wolff
Visual culture has text on the ropes from San Diego to San Antone
click to enlarge arts-latino-strange_72jpg
Moving target
By Alejandro Pérez
A&M Press releases show that one Mexican-American political gain often means another challenge
click to enlarge arts-book-crumley_72jpg
Down and out of his mind
By John Freeman
James Crumley's hard-living PI is back on the case ... and the coke
click to enlarge arts-authors-fin_72jpg
Well-read reads
Compiled by John Freeman
Authors from around the world comment on what they are reading
click to enlarge arts-fiction-diezmo1_72jpg
Adventuring gone awry
By Susan Pagani
Rick Bass imagines a feckless narrator caught in Santa Anna's infamous diezmo
click to enlarge screens-gothic-mummy_72jpg
It's the mummy!
By Elaine Wolff
Or is it just your mummy? A book on gothic film says 'both'
click to enlarge arts-texaswriters_72jpg
Not a navel-gazer in sight
By Alejandro Pérez
A team of skillful interviewers extracts wisdom from Texas writers

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