Tag Archives: Author Event

Gift Children: A Story of Race, Family, and Adoption in a Divided America

Eugene/Springfield–Nearly 50 years ago, a young Eugene couple, Doug and Gloria Bates, both white and the parents of two very blond little boys, adopted a pair of young African-American girls. It thrust the family to the forefront of a controversial social experiment that’s still being debated today. So how did it all work out for the Bateses? Join Doug Bates, a University of Oregon graduate and Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist, for a discussion of his book, Gift Children, in which he tells the compelling and sometimes gritty story of his family’s interracial odyssey. The book draws its title from a custom of the Old South, where the adoption of “gift children” by close friends was common among poor blacks. Though published 25 years ago, Gift Children remains a remarkably relevant portrait of family and race today, exploring the theme of whites and blacks trying to live together in a country gripped by racial dissension. Bates retired in 2009 as an associate editor at The Oregonian and a member of its editorial board. He has worked as assistant managing editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune, news editor of The Seattle Times and managing editor of The Register-Guard in Eugene. He has also held editing and writing positions at daily newspapers in Spokane and Bend. In 2006, Bates was co-recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, along with his colleague at The Oregonian, Rick Attig, who is also a UO journalism alumnus. Their 15-part series on abusive conditions at the Oregon State Hospital won the prize for editorial writing along with several other national honors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, Bates grew up in Oakridge and graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism in 1968. He and his wife Gloria moved back to Oakridge in retirement. Besides Gift Children, Bates is also the author of The Pulitzer Prize: The Inside Story of America’s Most Prestigious Award, a book he wrote 15 years before receiving the honor himself.

Accidental Spirituality Brown Bag

Eugene/Springfield–Join George Kaufman for a brown bag luncheon as he explores the subject of Accidental Spirituality—how ordinary people can have extraordinary moments, and how those extraordinary moments can be woven into the fabric of their lives.

Kaufman has recently completed a book on this subject and will read selections that reflect his thoughts on growing, learning, and exploring. The selections touch on compassion, mentoring, the planet, parents, memories, and relationships or, as Zorba had observed about life, “the full catastrophe.”

The luncheon will be interactive, with opportunities to write and share pieces drawn from your own personal experiences. Those experiences live in our bodies at a cellular level. They thrive in sunlight and are nourished by laughter, joy, intimacy, and caring.

Let’s Celebrate Nature

Central Oregon–Local author and nature enthusiast LeeAnn Kriegh will inspire us to plan some spring hikes with a lively talk about native plants and animals. Drawing from her book, The Nature of Bend, Kriegh discusses common and interesting birds, mammals, wildflowers, and more—tells us exactly where to go to find them. She will lead a hike for OLLI in May.

Kriegh, a native Oregonian, has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. After earning her master’s degree in English, she was a freelance journalist for a variety of magazines and newspapers, including The Oregonian. She then started her own writing and editing business through which she works for clients including Intel, Google, and Microsoft. The Nature of Bend is her first book.

Local Author Envelops Us in the Times of Jane Austen—Beyond the Miniatures: The Real World of Jane Austen

OLLI UO Beyond the Miniatures - The Real World of Jane AustenCentral Oregon–Jane Austen, who was born in 1775, lived through a time of great upheaval— England on the brink of the Industrial Revolution, France on the verge of a revolution—and soon, both countries would be at war with each other: a war that would continue for most of Austen’s life, until her death in 1817. Yet, for those like Jane, living in the upper-middle classes—the Regency Era in England—was a time of opulence and ease.

According to Wikipedia, the Regency Era began in 1811 when George Augustus Frederick (George IV), Prince of Wales, began his nine-year tenure as regent and became known as the “Prince Regent.” This sub-period of the Georgian era began the formal Regency.

The Regency is noted for its elegance and achievements in the fine arts and architecture. This era encompassed a time of great social, political, and economic change. War was waged with Napoleon and on other fronts, affecting commerce and politics both at home and internationally. Despite the bloodshed and warfare, the Regency was also a period of great refinement and cultural achievement, shaping and altering the societal structure of Britain as a whole.

In 1814, The Times adopted steam printing. With this method, it could now print 1,100 sheets every hour, not 200 as before—a fivefold increase in production capability and demand. This development brought about the rise of the wildly popular fashionable novels in which publishers spread the stories, rumors, and flaunting of the rich and aristocratic—not so secretly hinting at the specific identity of these individuals. The gap in the hierarchy of society was so great that those of the upper classes could be viewed by those below as wondrous and fantastical fiction, something entirely out of reach yet tangibly there.

Bend author Collins Hemingway has written a well-researched novel about the Jane Austen that might have been in The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume I. Volume I is the first in a trilogy of Jane Austen novels by Mr. Hemingway.

In a series of two talks, Hemingway discusses the Regency Era in England, covering a time in history that faced many of the same issues as today: divisive wars, labor unrest, political polarization on trade and race, and a technological revolution that dramatically undermined the middle class. How did Austen’s novels fit within the framework of this exciting and often violent period? How did the big issues affect her family and writing?

Join our presenter Collins Hemingway as we delve into the fascinating era of this world-renowned English author, Jane Austen.

OLLI Member Publishes New Book

Britain in the Middle EastCentral Oregon–After 17 years of research and writing, our own Robert Harrison’s book, Britain in the Middle East 1619–1971, was published and released for sale May 5!

In a review of Britain in the Middle East, Thomas G. Paterson, University of Connecticut, USA, characterizes Harrison’s book as a “succinct, sweeping, and spirited chronicle of Britain’s expansion into the Middle East and its ultimate retreat from the region, from the founding of the East India Company in the seventeenth century to the exit from Aden in the twentieth,…”citing how the author “expertly emphasizes trade, treaty-making, protectorates, costly military contests and wars, and European and indigenous rivalries.” (from Bloomsbury Publishing, http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/britain-in-themiddle-east-9781472590718/)

We at OLLI-UO have been fortunate to have Bob’s wealth of information shared in our classes on World War I, Islam, ISIS and the History of the Caliphate, Russia: Land of the Czars and others. He was professor of history at Southern Oregon University. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and has more than 30 years experience of teaching and researching in the field of British imperialism in the Middle East.

Before you hop on Amazon to purchase Bob’s book, join us at the UO Bend Center on Friday, June 17, at 2:00 p.m. as we celebrate our very own acclaimed Central Oregon OLLI-UO member.

Haven’t joined OLLI yet? Want to?

UO Faculty Author Event—Counterclockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging

BEND—Join us on Thursday, May 8 for a special author event with Lauren Kessler, co-sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon and the Duck Store.

Kessler, the author of twelve books, including The Stubborn Twig, Clever Girl, and The Happy Bottom Riding Club, is also professor and director of the UO Multimedia Journalism Master’s Program. Her latest book, is an informative and humorous look at the latest strategies to prolong our healthy and productive years.

Refreshments will be provided, Kessler’s book, available in the new paperbound edition, may be purchased at the Duck Store.

This event is open to OLLI-UO members and the general public, but RSVPs are requested so that we can plan for our guests’ attendance. Please call the OLLI-UO or UO Academic Extension Office at 541-346-0697 or 800-824-2714.