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"News of the World" Author to Appear at Gail Borden Library

Sherry McGuinn

Enjoy a "conversation with Paulette Jiles," Tuesday, July 27 at 7 pm
Paulette JilesWikipedia Commons

If you've seen the film starring Tom Hanks and based on Paulette Jiles's novel, then you understand that News of the World was an incredibly detailed account of Texas culture in the 1800s.

The film, which closely follows Jiles's excellent novel, a National Book Award for Fiction finalist, centers around Jefferson Kyle Kidd ( Hanks), a former captain in the Confederate army, as he attempts to transport Johanna (newcomer, Helena Zengel), a 10-year-old German girl who was rescued from the Kiowa Indians who killed her immediate family four years earlier and then subsequently raised her as her own.

Kidd's task is to return Johanna to what is left of her family.

The title stems from Kidd's "job" as a newsreader who collects newspapers from around the world and travels to different communities where he reads them to the public.

The novel itself is relatively short, but Jiles packs a lot into 213 pages. Her descriptions of the natural world are breathtaking and make the reader feel as if they were in the middle of a Texas prairie.

Too, the story is a celebration of freedom, along with the reconciliation of vastly different cultures.

Jiles has sold more than 800,000 books in North America and is known for her rather "prickly" personality. In other words, she doesn't suffer fools, gladly, which makes me feel that her appearance at the library will be a lively one as she shares her stories about the creation and development of her characters.

Other titles from the 76-year-old author include The Color of Lightning, Enemy Woman, and Stormy Weather.

Jiles will be speaking at the library's main branch, which is located at 270 North Avenue, in Elgin.

It will be a fun and informative "conversation" to be sure.

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