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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | WORDS & IMAGES / FRANCES HALPERN

Local Authors Reach Out to Ethnic Market

The new books offer immigrants histories of Latin America and Asia. Others helps children understand differences among cultures.

September 12, 1996|FRANCES HALPERN | Frances Halpern is co-host with Jon O'Brien of "Beyond Words" at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU-FM (88.3), Ventura County's National Public Radio station

It is an irony that just as politicians are facing off over bills that make English America's official language, publishers have discovered the multiethnic market.

The immigrants of my parents' generation deliberately forgot their roots and plunged into the American mainstream. There were no books about Russian culture in my household, though my mother was born there. Nor, for that matter, did we dwell on the English ancestry of my father's family.

A newer generation of immigrants from Latin America and Asia retain closer ethnic ties. Local authors are writing for and publishers are meeting the demands of this market.

Himilce Novas of Santa Barbara is the author of "Everything You Need to Know About Latino History" and with Lan Cao has also written "Everything You Need to Know About Asian-American History."

Another Santa Barbara author, Ramona Winner, has just published "It's Okay to Be Different," a bilingual (Spanish and English) picture book for children. Forty percent of the book's proceeds will be donated to the Council of Christmas Cheer, a charity that provides food and clothing to needy families.

And world traveler Karen Mezek Leimert of Calabasas has authored the handsomely illustrated "All the Children of the World," which describes the culture and lifestyles of children from Iowa to the islands of Samoa.

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Local author Jan Johnson will sign her book "Enjoying the Presence of God" at 7 tonight at Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., Ventura. Johnson will also conduct a workshop on writing and selling articles to magazines and newspapers at 7 p.m. Monday sponsored by Rancho Simi Parks Department at 5005-C Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Call 522-3221.

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Christian Science healer and teacher Marceil DeLacy will give a lecture on advancing beyond sexism, using as a source Mary Baker Eddy's book "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," which has sold more than 9 million copies since it was first published 120 years ago. DeLacy will appear at 11 a.m. Saturday at Heritage Square Plaza, 721 South A St., Oxnard, and again at 2 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Ventura.

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Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network (SPAWN) will meet at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Performance Studio, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura. The network is a resource for everyone involved in publishing. Call Mary Embree at 643-2403.

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Mud Baron will read at 8 p.m. Tuesday at 2 West Coffee Company, Ventura. Poetry reading sign ups begin at 7:30 p.m. Call 643-6411.

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IN SANTA BARBARA

The United States of America was born and Napoleon rampaged through Europe during Jane Austen's short life. The gentle woman, who signed her books "Written by a Lady," wrote children's stories when she herself was a child and finished six novels before she died in 1817 at age 42.

Austen has always been read, but since the successful filming of three of her novels--"Pride and Prejudice," "Sense and Sensibility" and "Emma"--and publication recently of sequels "Presumption" and "The Third Sister" by Julia Barrett of Santa Monica, Austen is a contemporary literary celebrity.

Now screenwriters Cathryn Michon and Pam Norris have produced "Jane Austen's Little Advice Book," which they will sign at 2 p.m. Sunday at Chaucer's Books, 3321 State St., Loreto Plaza.

For information about the international Jane Austen Society and the local chapter, contact Lillian Goldstein, 4399 Sweet Briar St., Ventura 93003.

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