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Celebrated Author to Sign Books in Ventura : Harriet Doerr, 84, gained acclaim for her first novel, 'Stones for Ibarra.' Now she's winning praise for 'Consider This, Senora.'

August 11, 1994|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If you are a published novelist, aspiring writer or merely a seeker of sparkling prose and good stories and enjoy meeting creators of literary art, pencil in Harriet Doerr. The 84-year-old author will appear at 4 p.m. Monday at the Oddfellows Hall, 522 E. Main St., Ventura, in an event sponsored by the Ventura Bookstore.

Critics and the public loved Doerr's first novel, "Stones for Ibarra," which was published in 1983 and became a bestseller and a television movie. Now, 10 year later, her "Consider This, Senora" has been published to similar acclaim. Reviewers praise Doerr's new book as "wise, fresh as clean water, never sentimental or condescending."

Doerr is an inspiration to late bloomers. She left college to marry and raise a family and lived for many years in rural Mexico, the scene of both novels. Following her husband's death, she enrolled at Stanford University and received her bachelor's degree at age 67. She was 73 when the first novel was published and established herself not only as a fine writer, but also as an entertaining lecturer.

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It's an unsettling fact that one out of five adults cannot read. If you have two hours a week to spare, you can help lower that statistic. A training class for volunteers interested in tutoring English-speaking adults for the county library's literacy program is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the library administration building, 4274 Telegraph Road, Ventura. No teaching experience is required. The time commitment is one hour twice a week. For details, call 652-6294.

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Big weekend coming up at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Christine T. Jorgensen ("A Love to Die For") and Denise Osborne ("Murder Off Screen") will sign their books at 2 p.m. Saturday. Bruce Zimmerman, author of "Full-Bodied Red," will be at the bookstore at 1 p.m. Sunday to autograph his latest Quinn Parker mystery, "Crimson Green."

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South African author Larraine D. Segil will talk about her new novel "Belonging," a tale about two women, one black, one white, who meet as children and whose friendship endures through separation and betrayal. The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., Ventura.

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I knew an elderly couple who good-naturedly challenged each other during Scrabble games. She said he made up words; he defended by saying the dictionary they consulted was incomplete. You can test your word skills at the first Barnes & Noble Scrabble Night at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Bring a board if you have one and compete for fun and prizes.

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Authors whose works have appeared in Verve magazine will read at the journal's sixth anniversary celebration at 8 p.m. Aug. 18 at Cafe Voltaire, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura. Call 641-1743 for details.

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