Fun Facts Friday: Chester Himes
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / July 29, 2016

Chester Himes (29 July, 1909 – 12 November, 1984) was a writer known for his series of Harlem detective novels. By Michael Law – E-mail to photosubmission@wikimedia.org, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17804533 Books by Chester Himes* 1)      As a youth, Mr. Himes misbehaved and his mother made him sit out a gunpowder demonstration he was supposed to do with his brother during an assembly. The gunpowder exploded and his brother was refused treatment due to the Jim Crow laws. That tragedy has profoundly shaped the author’s view on race in America. 2)      In 1928 Mr. Himes was arrested for armed robbery. He was sentenced to 20 to 25 years of hard labor. 3)      Mr. Himes started writing short stores in prison and had them published in national magazines. 4)      He credits writing in prison and being published to earn him respect from the guards, fellow inmates and avoid violence. 5)      In April 1934, Mr. Himes was released on parole. He continued to write while working part time jobs 6)      Mr. Himes met poet, novelist and activist Langston Hughes who helped him with contacts in the literary world. 7)      In the 1940s, Mr. Himes spent time working as a screenwriter in Los Angeles….

Fun Facts Friday: Emma Lazarus
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / July 22, 2016

Emma Lazarus (22 July, 1849 – 19 November, 1887) was an American poet known for her 1883 sonnet The New Colossus which is inscribed on a bronze plaque being held by the Statue of Liberty. By T. Johnson – The New York Historical Society [1][2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=275227 1)      Ms. Lazarus was one of seven children born in New York. 2)      Poet Grace Seixas Nathan was the great-great grandmother of Ms. Lazarus 3)      Since early age, Ms. Lazarus studied American and British literature 4)      She loved the writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson and an admirer of political economist Henry George. 5)      She spoke English, German, French and Italian. 6)      After reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, Ms. Lazarus started taking interest in her Jewish roots 7)      She was an advocate for Jewish Russian refugees after the Russian pogroms 8)      Ms. Lazarus’ famous sonnet The New Colossus was written for and donated to an auction to raise funds to build the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty 9)      Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, Emma Lazarus’ good friend and daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife, Sophia founded the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne after she was inspired by The New Colossus 10)   In 2008…

Excerpt from Unholy Code by Thomas Waite
Latest Posts / July 18, 2016

Acclaimed novelist Thomas Waite shares this short excerpt from Unholy Code, the latest thriller in his Lana Elkins series.   “Look at the water, boy.” Vinko peered at its smooth surface and saw his reflection. “Your face is white as the clouds, isn’t it? Just like everyone else you see around here.” Vinko understood. He’d never known anybody who wasn’t white. They’d fished until sundown. After gathering up their gear, his father told him to look at the water again. The blood-red colors had appeared, darkening the boy’s face. “You’re no longer white. That’s what’s going to happen if we let the sun set on America. The white will disappear, and we’ll pay for it with blood.” His father had been right. The men in his family had all known that the most important threat of all wasn’t a gun or a knife, or even the mongrel races raging to get everything that belonged to whites. But it was all about blood.   * * *   A seventeen-year-old is impulsive. A seventeen-year-old feels immortal. A seventeen-year-old doesn’t understand that death can come in a whisper. Emma. I imagine my hot breath on her ear. I can help you. So her parents will be right…

Fun Facts Friday: Charles Reade
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / July 8, 2016

Charles Reade (8 June, 1814 – 11 April, 1884) was an English dramatist and novelist. Mr. Read is best known for his novel The Cloister and the Hearth. “Charles Reade,” (1872)  illustrated by Frederick Waddy (1848–1901)  WorldCat – archive.org, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12460317 1)      Mr. Reade considered himself a dramatist and wanted that be firs on the list of occupations on his tombstone. 2)      The two act comedy Masks and Faces was the one that made Mr. Reade’s reputation. 3)      Due to its success, Masks and Faces was later expanded into three acts. 4)      In 1856 Mr. Reade published his novel It Is Never Too Late to Mend, and established a reputations as a novelist. 5)      Based on a few lives by medieval humanist Erasmus, Mr. Reade published A Good Fight in 1859 as a serial in Once a Week. 6)      The magazine’s publisher and Mr. Reade disagreed about a socially sensitive subject, the pregnancy of the unwed heroine. Mr. Reade abruptly wrote a happy-ending to the story. 7)      Continuing to work on A Good Fight, Mr. Reade published it as a novel called The Cloister and the Hearth. 8)      Loved by readers, Mr. Reade’s work was not as well regarded…

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