Literary Passings: Ernest Gaines (A Gathering Of Old Men)

Here’s our copy of Ernest Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

From this autobiography:

Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, acclaimed author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and other novels about the struggles of African Americans in rural Louisiana, died at his home in Oscar, La., Tuesday at the age of 86.

Gaines died in his sleep of cardiac arrest, according to The Associated Press, citing the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. He is survived by his wife Dianne Saulney Gaines, four stepchildren and nine siblings.

The son of sharecroppers, Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, near Baton Rouge. He attended school for little more than five months out of the year. But that was more education than his family before him had received. He would say later in life that his ear for the stories of his elders was developed as he wrote letters for adults who couldn’t read or write.

In the late 1940’s, at the age of 15, his family moved to the northern California city of Vallejo, about 30 miles north of San Francisco. He told interviewer Lawrence Bridges that in California he could do something that had been forbidden in the South: visit a library. Gaines later attended San Francisco State University. His early writing earned him a Wallace Stegner fellowship at Stanford University.

 

Faculty: Get Print Journal Articles Delivered To You with FADS

Faculty Article Delivery Service (FADS)

Alkek Library now delivers electronic copies of articles from our print journal collection right to your desktop. This service, called Faculty Article Delivery Service or FADS, is available to faculty at either the San Marcos or Round Rock locations.

Here’s how to request an article through FADS:

Simply use the Interlibrary Loan system to request any print article, by filling out an online loan request using your ILLiad account. The interlibrary loan staff will take your request and either digitize the article on demand if we subscribe to the journal in print OR obtain the article via interlibrary loan (if we do not subscribe to the journal).
You will receive the article in a timely manner via your ILLiad account and can access the digital version on your desktop in your office or home– no more trips to the library to find and copy the article!
Please note that articles available in our Research Databases, accessible from the library homepage, are not included in the FADS or ILLiad service. The library licenses several thousand full-text e-journals, providing faculty with easy access to the journal literature at work and home or on the road.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Interlibrary Loan office at 245-4893 or via email.

Author Picks: Deborah Eisenberg

All Deborah Eisenberg books here.

from the New York Times Magazine:

In spite of her desultory M.O., Eisenberg has somehow managed to produce one of the most original and accomplished bodies of work in contemporary literature. With the exception of a play, a book about the painter Jennifer Bartlett and a handful of critical essays, her output consists entirely of short stories, and yet as a portraitist and interpreter of the moral and political chaos of American life she is the equal of any novelist of the past 30 years. Her stories rove from the Midwest, where she was born, to the metropolitan centers and foreign outposts of American power and concern the fate of artists and intellectuals, bankers, movie stars and C.I.A. apparatchiks, as well as drifters, dropouts and dead-enders, the politically displaced and the existentially homeless. Like their creator, her dramatis personae are beings of an almost extraterrestrial sensitivity and confusion; they look at the world with a kind of radical naïveté, as though they had never before encountered cars, buildings, trees or clouds, let alone the ambiguous workings of human social life. Just how strange it is to be that lost and lonely creature, oneself, is a realization that Eisenberg’s world-dazed men and women arrive at time and again.

Featured Author: Abraham Verghese, Medical Nonfiction Writer

All Abraham Verghese books here.

I first became aware of Abraham Verghese through his best-selling book, My Own Country, which chronicled the AIDS epidemic in a small Tennessee city (which also happens to be my hometown). Dr. Verghese wrote the book based on his own experiences, and I can tell you that it is completely accurate.

Since then, Dr. Verghese has gone on to write nonfiction about losing a tennis partner to addiction as well as fiction. Dr. Verghese currently works at Stanford University.

Read more in this biography

 

Nutshell And Demystified Books Provide Great Introductions To Complex Topics

These books are great introductions to legal topics such as arbitration, contracts, corporate finance, copyright law and more.

You need a good introduction to a HARD topic. Written to get you started, and as intelligent as you are.You already know what the median and mode are; you need a discussion of Bayesian probability, or 12 ways of looking at correlation, or population distribution, etc.

Enter the wonderful Demystified series.

Here are some examples.

Business Stats Demystified.
Stats Demystified
Probability Demystified

Alkek Library vs. Google (Video Tutorial)

Google does not search all the information in the world! Even though libraries and other institutions make their resources available full text online, Google does not search these web sites (otherwise known as the deep web).

Instead, what you’ll typically get on a Google search is a lot of random info that won’t be of use to you in writing an academic paper.

Video tutorial below:

 

Literary Passings: Toni Morrison (Beloved)

Our Toni Morrison holdings here.

From this obituary:

Toni Morrison, who has died aged 88, was the only African American writer and one of the few women to have received the Nobel prize for literature. The announcement of her 1993 award cited her as a writer “who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”. In her acceptance speech Morrison emphasized the importance of language “partly as a system, partly as a living thing over which one has control, but mostly as an agency – as an act with consequences.”

She expressed her own credo, and indicated the core preoccupations of her fiction, in the fable at the heart of her speech, where she imagines young people telling an old black woman: “Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created … For our sakes and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light … Tell us what it is to be a woman so that we may know what it is to be a man. What moves at the margin. What it is to have no home in this place. To be set adrift from the one you knew. What it is to live at the edge of towns that cannot bear your company.”

Dressing For A Job Interview

Do you know how to mix and match different patterns?  If your jacket has a wide check pattern and you want to wear a tie with dots, what is the correct call? Can you wear a jacket with a check pattern with a tie with a check pattern?

Check out this timeless advice from men’s clothing legend Alan Flusser.

(This book is located in the oversized section on floor 6.)

Enlighten us, Mr. Flusser:

If using different patterns in jacket and tie, keep the size close.
If same pattern in jacket and tie, vary size of pattern.

Here are some good titles for women:

Examples: What to Wear, Where: The How-To Handbook for any Style Situation

Work It: Visual Therapy’s Guide to Your Ultimate Career Wardrobe.