Aug. 10, 2000

It Is No Gift I Tender

by A. E. Housman

Broadcast date: THURSDAY, 10 August 2000

“It is no gift I tender,” by A.E. Housman.

It’s the birthday of novelist Beverly Lowry, born in Memphis, Tennessee (1938). She grew up in Greenville, Mississippi, a town that closely resembles her fictional town of Eunola. Her first three novels--Come Back, Lolly Ray (1977), Emma Blue (1978), and Daddy’s Girl (1981)--were impudent, frolicsome accounts of young women coming of age. Then in 1984, a terrible year in Lowry’s life, her diabetic father had to have both legs amputated, and then her 18-year-old son was killed in a hit-and-run accident. The novels she wrote following that terrible year--The Perfect Sonya (1987), and Breaking Gentle (1988)--were ominous tales of disruption and disaster. After the memoir Crossed Over (1992), she wrote another novel, The Track of Real Desire (1994).

It’s the birthday of novelist Jorge Amado, born near Ilhéus, Brazil (1912). He was elected to the national assembly in 1946, running as a Communist. He's the author of a number of novels including Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1966 film, starring Sonia Braga, in 1978), and Gabriela, Cinnamon and Clove (1958), about a woman whose skin smells of those spices.

On this day in 1912, Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf at London’s St. Pancras Registry Office. They had met her a year earlier at the home of Virginia's sister and brother-in-law, Vanessa and Clive Bell, in the Bloomsbury section of London. They became members of the “Bloomsbury Group,” brilliant and talented artists, writers, critics and thinkers who came to live in or near that district just before World War One.

It’s the birthday of guitar-maker Leo Fender, born in Anaheim, California (1909)who created the Fender Telecaster, and later the Fender Stratocaster.

It’s the birthday of horror screenwriter Curt Siodmak, born in Dresden, Germany (1902). He emigrating to Hollywood, where, in the 1940s, he wrote scripts that terrorized the adolescent imaginations of 5 generations. Films he wrote include The Wolf Man (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), and The Beast With Five Fingers (1947). Siodmak established several film traditions in The Wolf Man, such as the pentagram as the sign of the werewolf, and the silver-tipped cane to destroy the werewolf. The Wolf Man, which spawned 3 quick sequels, tells the story of Lawrence Talbot (played by Lon Chaney, Jr.), who is bitten by a werewolf, becomes a wolf man, and isn’t believed when he desperately tries to get people to believe he is, truly, a wolf man.

On this day in 1787, Mozart completed Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (“A Little Night Music”). Composed in 4 movements, it is the Serenade # 13 in G Major, scored for 2 violins, viola and bass.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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