January 19, 2003 |
People of my gender call novels such as Jo-Ann Mapson's "chick books" because they focus on love, family and relationships rather than on, say, weapons of mass destruction. We tend to dismiss them as soap operas with covers -- as if the plot of the typical guy book (FBI profiler plays cat-and-mouse games with serial killer) dealt with a wider and deeper range of human experience. Of course, the opposite is true.
January 4, 2004 |
Life goes on, and then it goes on some more. A novel may impose a beginning and an ending on the flow of events, but even a character's death doesn't mean his or her story is over. "Goodbye, Earl" is supposed to be an ending -- the third volume of Jo-Ann Mapson's trilogy about hard-luck women who find sustenance and sisterhood on a 40-acre flower farm on California's Central Coast -- but it's clear, after we turn the last page, that Mapson could go on writing about these people forever.
July 10, 2001 |
What could these women possibly have in common? Ness is a 6-foot African American blacksmith whose last boyfriend infected her with HIV. Nance is a Southern belle who couldn't live with a self-centered journalist but can't get him out of her mind. Beryl spent five years in prison for stabbing her abusive husband. (Her kitchen knife didn't kill him, though;he slipped on spilled beer and cracked his head.) Obviously, each woman is disillusioned with the male of the species.
June 10, 1999 |
Watch your back, Larry McMurtry. There's another cowpoke in town who, for a good while now, has been steadily fixing to pick up where you left off. Her name's Jo-Ann Mapson and she's getting pretty fast on the draw. Trouble-ridden romance, as hurtful and risky as a green horse, is the subject Mapson has corralled. "The Wilder Sisters," her newest novel, travels along the same fence line as her other books.
July 4, 1994 |
Jo-Ann Mapson's new novel, "Blue Rodeo," is the perfect dessert for women--and men!-- who liked "The Bridges of Madison County" then found they were hungry two hours later: hungry for character development, believable plot, dialogue and language at once controlled, mature, romantic, subtle and memorable. The bestseller list is where perfectly good novels such as "Blue Rodeo" belong, but something goes awry and they rarely work their way up there. Why "Bridges" then?
March 22, 1993 |
The location is south of Los Angeles down by Irvine. The author of "Hank & Chloe" asks us to take another look at that beautiful land--once belonging to the Indians, then parceled out in Spanish land grants, then as ranch land belonging to Anglos "of good family," and now evolving, unappetizingly and relentlessly, into white stucco warrens for modern men and women. The brown earth now covered with white stucco condos and that big university. But the shadow world still remains.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1997
To raise money for books and other reading materials, the Anaheim Public Library Foundation is sponsoring a luncheon Sunday featuring three authors. The authors attending the "South by Southwest" event, to take place from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Anaheim, are J.A. Jance, Jo-Ann Mapson and Louis Owens. They will share their writing experiences and give an insight on the work involved in crafting a novel.
July 26, 1996
Each Orange County Fair is a family reunion for the Bailey clan. There's father Jim, employed there for 37 years, who reports to his daughter, Becky Bailey-Findley, the general manager. Her brother, sister and a niece work there part time. Her son, too young to be employed, is a volunteer. * METRO, B1 Pain on Ice Savo Mitrovic, who plays for the Anaheim Bullfrogs, says he is worn out after four years of ice hockey in the winter and roller hockey in the summer.
June 9, 1999 |
Earl Hamner, who is best known as creator and producer of the Emmy-winning TV series "The Waltons," will discuss and sign his memoir, "The Avocado Drive Zoo," at noon Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Fashion Island, 953 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. "The Avocado Drive Zoo" is a warm and humorous account of the animals Hamner and his family have lived with over the years. * Orange County author T.