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Novelist, Libraries Friend to Speak

Novelist and Friend of the UC Riverside Libraries to Speak at Author Series

William and Mary Lavender to Discuss Historical Novel for Young Adults “Just Jane”

(December 5, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — Novelist William Lavender and his wife and longtime friend of the UC Riverside Libraries, Mary Lavender, will speak from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday Dec. 10, about their collaborative book Just Jane: A Daughter of England Caught in the Struggle of the American Revolution. It is the third talk of the 2003-04 UCR Libraries’ Author Series and will be Web cast live from the fourth floor of the Tomás Rivera Library, 900 University Ave., Riverside.

For more information about the UCR Libraries’ Author Series, call Special Collections at 909-787-3233. Web casts of previous events are available at the Authors Series Web site.

Lavender’s title character, Lady Jane Prentice, is sent from England to South Carolina in 1776 after the death of her father, an English Earl, to live with her uncle in the American Colonies. She finds her father’s family divided on the independence issue and she herself must choose sides as the Revolutionary War intensifies in the south. William and Mary Lavender are longtime Riverside residents and have long been active in UC Riverside outreach activities, including as members of the Friends of the UCR Library.

Just Jane, published by Gulliver Books, a division of Harcourt, in 2002, was nominated for the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults in 2002. Just Jane is Lavender’s first novel for younger readers. Lavender has authored five other novels including Chinaberry.

The monthly Author Series events, which began in September 2002, bring the riches of the campus libraries to the community. According to organizer Melissa Conway, who heads UC Riverside’s Special Collections, the authors are all affiliated with UC Riverside. All UC Riverside Libraries’ Author Series events are free and open to the public. Parking is $6 per vehicle for the day or may be purchased for shorter periods at $2 per hour. Parking permits are available at the information kiosks near the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive and Martin Luther King Boulevard entrances. Visitors are encouraged to park at the visitor lot near the University Avenue entrance.

Other authors in the series include:

  • Jan. 21, 2004: Iqbal Pittalwala, formerly a Campus Communications Officer for Science and Engineering at UC Riverside, now the Assistant Director of Media Relations for Science and Technology at the UC Irvine. He will read from his book of short stories Dear Paramount Pictures (Southern Methodist University, 2002). In addition to a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences, Pittalwala holds an M.F.A in creative writing from the University of Iowa. His stories have appeared in the Seattle Review, Blue Mesa Review, Confrontation, Trikone, and other magazines. He teaches a writing and critiquing workshop in fiction at the UC Riverside Extension Center.

  • Feb. 18: Alan McHughen, professor of botany and plant sciences, will speak on his book Pandora’s Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods (Oxford University Press, 2000). A molecular geneticist, public sector educator, scientist and consumer advocate, Dr. McHughen has helped develop U.S. and Canadian regulations covering the environmental release of plants with novel traits. He also served on recent National Academy of Science and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development panels investigating the environmental and health effects of genetically modified organisms.

  • March 24: Stephen Spindler, professor of biochemistry, will speak on his intriguing research on the correlation between calorie restriction and longevity. Spindler asserts that the fewer the calories an animal consumes — provided malnutrition is avoided — the slower an animal ages and the lower the death rate from cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Spindler has served on several advisory groups and committees for the National Institute on Aging, and National Institutes of Health.

  • April 14: Maurya Simon, chair and professor of creative writing, will read from her book of poetry, A Brief History of Punctuation (Sutton Hoo Press, 2002). Simon is also the author of The Enchanted Roo and Days of Awe (Copper Canyon Press, 1986, 1989), Speaking in Tongues (Gibbs Smith, 1990), and The Golden Labyrinth (Univ. of Missouri Press, 1995). Her sixth volume of poetry, Weavers, is forthcoming from Blackbird Press. Professor Simon’s poems have appeared in several publications, including The New Yorker, Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, the New England Review, and in more than thirty anthologies.

  • May 19: Howard K. Wettstein, professor of philosophy, will speak on Diaspora and Exiles: Varieties of Jewish Identity (University of California Press, 2002), which he edited. Wettstein is also the author of Has Semantics Rested on a Mistake? and Other Essays (Stanford University Press, 1991), and The Magic Prism—An Essay in the Philosophy of Language (Oxford University Press, 2003), and numerous articles on the philosophy of language. Diaspora and Exiles considers the question of Jewish identity from the perspectives of anthropology, art history, comparative literature, history, philosophy, political theory, and sociology.

UC Riverside’s Libraries are the focal points for research and study on campus. Their collections include 2,081,146 volumes, 12,444 serial subscriptions and 1,672,042 microforms housed in five facilities: the Tomás Rivera Library (serving the humanities, arts and social sciences); the Science Library; the Music Library; Media Library; and Special Collections, housing rare books and manuscripts, and unique archival resources. For more about the UC Riverside Libraries, go to
William and Mary Lavender

William and Mary Lavender

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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