Monday, November 12, 2012

Going Global: Two Days, a Trio of Signings

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Born in Ripley, Tennessee, and reared in Memphis, Shelby Tucker, a lawyer by training and by trade, has made his home in England now for decades. But he's been equally at home everywhere in the world as an intrepid traveler whose preferred method doesn't require comfort, but it often does depend on one thumb and two feet. (Translation: hitchhiking.) Tucker's written about his adventures and about recent history in Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma, Burma: The Curse of Independence, and The Last Banana: Dancing with the Watu.

Now Tucker's written another adventure story, Client Service (Stacey International), a novel that globe-trots too and the adventure is sales — the sale of mutual funds the world over during the go-go '60s. The object here: unsuspecting clients. The sales team: driven. (And that includes a football hero in Big Orange country.) The head honcho: a man named Baroque who is emphatically not (according to the author) Bernie, as in Bernie Madoff. Tucker means he's emphatically not Bernie Cornfeld, the late financier (or was he a con man?). Tucker once worked as a salesman (or "financial councellor") for Cornfeld. But Client Service isn't loosely fictionalized whistle-blowing. It is spirited satire, and the equally spirited Tucker is in Memphis this week for a booksigning. Meet the man at the Booksellers at Laurelwood on Tuesday, November 13th. The signing starts at 6 p.m. The store's number is 683-9801.

Born and raised in California, graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles and the International Graduate School of the University of Stockholm, Sally Palmer Thomason is better known to Memphians as a former high school history teacher at St. Mary's Episcopal School and as dean of lifelong learning at Rhodes College. Thomas returns to Rhodes on Tuesday, November 13th, to sign copies of her new novel, The Topaz Brooch (Cold River Studio), a tale — part fiction, part the author's family history — that tracks the brooch of the title over the course of 300 years and from a family's religious persecution in Wales to the Quaker safe haven of Pennsylvania. The signing is at Rhodes' Meeman Center for Lifelong Learning, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Questions? Contact John Rone at 843-3877.

For the final event at this fall's lecture series presented by the Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities at the University of Memphis, welcome Valerie Hudson, the George H.W. Bush Chair at the Bush School of Government and Public Services at Texas A&M University. Hudson, who helped create the largest database on the status of women in the world today, was named by Foreign Policy one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2009, and her recently co-authored book Sex and World Peace (Columbia University Press) examines the status of women as a key to global peace. Hudson argues — because research bears her out — that the best predictor of peace is not a country's wealth, its democratic strength, or its ethnic/religious identity. It lies, the world over, in a country's treatment of women. Hudson's lecture, at the University Center Theater of the U of M, takes place on Wednesday, November 14th, at 6:30 p.m, with a booksigning to follow. For more information, contact Aram Goudsouzian at 678-2520 or at


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