Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beth Macy, Author of Factory Man, to Speak and Sign Books at UNCG on November 6

Beth Macy and John D. Bassett III are on a roll.

The runaway success of Macy’s book Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town has brought both into the limelight.  

At the invitation of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, Macy is coming to UNCG to talk about and sign copies of her book on November 6 at 7 pm in the Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House.  Books will be for sale at the event, which is free.  The public is welcome.  No reservations are necessary.  Fred Starr, long-time furniture industry executive in the Triad, and UNCG documentary film-maker Matt Barr will offer reactions to the book following Macy's talk.

 Published in July, the book has been very positively noted by the NY TimesWall Street Journal, NPR and elsewhere, and Macy is being mentioned as a possible award winner for the book.   

Tom Hanks has reportedly bought the movie rights, and HBO may be adapting it as a miniseries.  Meanwhile, the septuagenarian Bassett has become an “overnight success” after a distinguished business career of many years.

Bryan Burrough, reviewing the book for the NY Times, began “Oh, if only we had more business writers like Beth Macy, and more business books like her debut, Factory Man…”

“This is Ms. Macy’s first book, but it’s in a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers,” wrote Janet Maslin in The New York Times.

Jackson Society Members Visit James B. Hunt Library at N.C. State

On September 24, several members of the Jackson Society visited the new James B. Hunt Library N.C. State University.  Here are some photos.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Getting Books from Life: Lois Lenski, Documentary Writer for Children

"Getting Books from Life: Lois Lenski, Documentary Writer for Children,"
 Presented by Dr. Joy Kasson,
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 4 p.m.
 Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room
 Jackson Library 2nd floor.

A Midwestern girl who journeyed to New York to study art in 1915, Lois Lenski became a writer and illustrator of children’s books in a career that lasted for four decades.  Curious, generous, and empathetic, she hoped her work would awaken and develop children’s ability to identify with others across divisions of region and social class.  In 1946 she was awarded the Newbery Medal for Children’s Literature for Strawberry Girl, a story about children and their families in the backwoods of Florida.  Subsequently she would write about migrant worker children, cotton-picking children, families in Iowa, South Dakota, Michigan, Texas, and Oklahoma, in Chinatown, San Francisco, on Indian reservations, and in high-rise urban ghettos.  Her experience at the Art Students’ League in New York at the time when the so-called “Ash Can School” was flourishing, her use of photography and field notes to research her subjects, and her extensive correspondence with teachers, librarians, and schoolchildren in areas across the country, gave her a unique perspective as she attempted to take children on an “adventure in understanding.” 

On Wednesday, October 8 at 4 pm, Dr. Joy Kasson of UNC Chapel Hill will talk about Lenski and her career as a documentary writer for children, drawing upon the resources of the Lois Lenski Papers, housed in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections in the University Libraries at UNCG. Dr. Kasson is Professor of American Studies and English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has been on the faculty since 1971. Her teaching includes courses on visual culture and American Studies, American cultural history, and American literature, and she has won several teaching awards.  She was Chair of the American Studies Department from 2001 to 2011, and currently serves as Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar for Carolina Performing Arts, helping to integrate UNC’s performing arts series with the academic core across disciplines.  The author of two books on nineteenth-century American art and culture, she has most recently turned to the subject of popular culture in American history in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West: Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History.  She is presently at work on a book on children’s author and illustrator Lois Lenski.

For more information, contact Scott Hinshaw in the University Libraries.

Book Discussion of In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan is October 20

Friends of the UNCG Libraries Book Discussion
Monday, October 20:  In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, led by Anne Hershey of the Biology Department.

4 p.m. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library 2nd floor