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News Release — October 5, 2003

James Jones Literary Society to Study Author's Material At University of Texas of Austin Symposium

The James Jones Literary Society (JJLS), an international organization that studies and promotes the literary works of the late author of such novels as "From Here to Eternity" and "The Thin Red Line," will hold its 13th annual symposium at The University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center on Saturday, October 11.

Also on that day, the Ransom Center will unveil and display portions of its collection of Jones's papers and memorabilia, the largest of its kind in the world, which the university recently obtained from the author's wife, Gloria Jones.

The symposium will be open to the public, free of charge, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Ransom Center, the corner of 21st and Guadalupe streets. Viewing of the Jones's papers and memorabilia will take place from 11 a.m. to noon.

The symposium's keynote address will be given by prominent Jones researcher Dr. Morris Dickstein, Distinguished Professor of English at City University of New York. Much of the day will be devoted to the new research opportunities for others that are now possible because of the accessibility of the material in the Texas collection.

After a brief society business meeting, the symposium's opening public session will feature a presentation by Ransom Center librarians Robert Taylor and Tara Wenger, who processed the bulk of the vast Jones collection.

The symposium will close with a panel discussion about the new Jones research opportunities. The panel will include Judith Everson, professor emerita at the University of Illinois-Springfield ("Portrayal of Women in Jones's Non-War Fiction"), Barbara Jones, librarian, Wesleyan (CT) University ("History of Publishing") and New York author Kaylie Jones ("From Novel to Film").

The JJLS, founded in Jones's home town of Robinson, Ill., also will honor the winners of the four awards it sponsors:

  • Laine Cunningham of Asheboro, N.C., the 2003 winner of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, for her literary work "The Message Stick."
  • Linda Busby Parker of Mobile, Ala., the 2002 First Novel Fellowship winner for "The Sum of Augusts."
  • Dr. Dickstein, the 2003 winner of the George Hendrick Research Award, which is named after one of the society's founders.

The society will give its "Lifetime Achievement Award" to film director Terrence Malick, an Austin resident, who directed the motion picture version of Jones's "The Thin Red Line." The inscription on the award to Malick: "In recognition of more than thirty years of innovative, profoundly philosophical and literary contributions to the world of film."

Author Norman Mailer was the 2002 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, receiving the honor at the society's symposium in Paris.

On Friday, Oct. 10, prior to the Austin symposium, Kaylie Jones, James Jones's daughter, will appear at Book People Bookstore, W. 6th St. and N. Lamar Blvd., to give readings from her new novel "Speak Now" and from the new introduction to her major novel "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries." She also is the author of the novels "Celeste Ascending," "As Soon As It Rains" and "Quite the Other Way." The 7 p.m. readings are open to the public.

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Alyssa Morris
Communications & Marketing Manager