Looking for a new heathy recipe? Courtney from the library demos a potato soup recipe in this video! Click here to watch.
“This program is funded in part through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.”
“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history” – Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950), historian, author, and founder of Black History Month
February was Black History Month, which highlights the history, culture, contributions, struggles, and achievements of African Americans. However, learning about Black history should not be limited to February. Reading books written by Black authors is a great way to continue learning about both the past and present. Anyone looking for Black history, perspectives, and representation can find many nonfiction resources at the Chickasha Public Library.
Some historical works include African American Almanac: 400 Years of Triumph, Courage and Excellence by Lean’tin L. Bracks (973 Bracks), African-American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped our Country by Henry Louis Gates (920 Gates), The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (304.80973 Wilkerson), Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Tears of African-American Writing (810.8 CRO), and Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by Shomari Wills (338 Wills).
There are also biographies, including Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (BIOGRAPHY Douglass), and Matter of Black and White: The Autobiography of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (BIOGRAPHY Fisher), who was born in Chickasha. For more local history, you can read Chickasha Black Heritage and One Room School Memories, both by Loretta Jackson (FRONT DESK 976.654 Jac; GEN 976.654 Jac) while at the library.
Those looking for books about current events and perspectives can read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (364.973 Alexander), How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (305.800973 Kendi), Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (305.800973 Coates), and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeona Oluo (305.800973 Oluo). These books and many more can be found in the nonfiction and reference section of the library for anyone wanting to read about and expand their knowledge of Black history.
We all know the names of our favorite authors-at least the name that you scan for when you look at the new release shelf. But did you know that some of your favorite authors may be writing under a pen name? The author may feel the need to protect their privacy, want to try their hand at a new genre, or to determine if their continued success is based on their name or on the content of their work.
The Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte, and Emily, chose ambiguous, yet vaguely mascuine names (Acton, Currer, and Ellis) to publish their works under because they wanted to maintain their privacy while still expressing themselves. Also in the time in which their works were published works by female authors were not taken seriously and often considered flighty or overly romantic. Charlotte and Anne were forced to present their decidedly feminine selves to their publisher when rumors began to spread that Acton, Currer, and Ellis were one in the same.
Agatha Christie may have been known as the “Queen of Crime” but like most creative people, she had many ideas and needed an outlet for them. In 1930 she published Giant’s Bread, a novel about a composer with a tragic past under the name Mary Westmacott. Neither Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple would approve of the dramatics.
Once an author becomes famous they have built in readership. Fans grab the latest release off the shelf, sometimes before reading critical reviews. This is great for the author’s wallet and ego, but some authors are not satisfied by money and fame alone-they want to know that they are producing books that entertain the public.
After his initial success with Carrie, Salem’s Lot and The Shining, Stephen King published several novels as Richard Bachman to test his skills. After only four novels the ruse was found out by a bookstore clerk who spotted the similarities leading him to research publishing documents identifying King as the author. To his credit Stephen King encouraged the clerk to write an article about his findings. Bachman “passed away” in 1985 although his “widow” discovered a manuscript for The Regulators which was published in 1996.
Several authors have decided to hide their identities during their careers. They may have craved privacy like the Brontë sisters, wanted to try their hand at a new genre like Agatha Christie or felt the need to test themselves like Stephen King. If you had to select a new name to attach to your creative work what would it be?
Here is a list of books available at the library with authors who use pen names. Authors Who Write Under Pen Names