Navigate

* Writers * Books * Native American * Gay * Gertrude Stein * Sherwood Anderson *
* Science Fiction & Fantasy * Movies * Rainbow: Lubbock * Gay SciFi Sons of Taldra * Twitter



Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Secrets and Scandals in West Texas


Part 1

Lawsuit seeks to let gay student club meet

Bruce Garrett Cartoon

Superintendent Who Blocked Gay Group Was Having Affair on School Property

E-mails doomed Lubbock superintendent

Secrets and Scandals in West Texas
Part 2


House OKs release of Tulia drug-bust prisoners

Constables face probe into possible illegal use of funds

Former Market Lubbock Inc. Employee Under Fire


Secrets and Scandals in West Texas
Part 3: A press release about one of my books.

Just released in a second edition, Duane Simolke’s collection The Acorn Stories involves secrets and scandals in the fictional West Texas town of Acorn. With a tone that ranges from light-hearted humor to barbed satire to sweet romance to devastating tragedy, The Acorn Stories offers a frank and sometimes troubling view of West Texas life. From a brilliant artist who can’t stay focused on everyday tasks to a closeted gay mayor who strikes out against his one-night stand, these characters get under the skin of readers everywhere.

Some people take exception to the sometimes scurrilous events Simolke chronicles in this collection of interrelated tales. However, Simolke points out that public scandals happen fairly often in West Texas (many of them involving elected officials), though they quickly find their way under the proverbial rug.

In the book’s concluding story, “Acorn Pie,” the eccentric businesswoman Aragon Carson sums up that sentiment while discussing her family background: “Those are all very ordinary events: life, death, reproduction. You probably expect to hear about those, but not much else. Now there’s lots of things that you’d think only go on in big cities, but think again. Those things just happen more quietly here.”

For the book’s second edition, Simolke found ways to polish up the language even more, adding more description and dialogue where needed. The other major differences are that the book is now available in hardcover—instead of just paperback—and that bookstores will receive a deeper discount that they can pass along to their readers. Starting in late October, Bookstores and libraries can order The Acorn Stories through Ingram Books or Baker & Taylor, while readers can order it at most local or online bookstore.

Simolke also edited and co-wrote the spin-off The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer, donating royalties to the American Cancer Society, a charity he trusts and admires. That second Acorn collection starts with characters and settings from The Acorn Stories, then introduces new characters and settings, concluding by bringing one of Acorn’s characters across America, the country that Acorn encapsulates.

With a major in English, Simolke graduated from Belmont University (B.A., 1989), Hardin-Simmons University (M.A., 1991), and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., 1996). Stein, Gender, Isolation, and Industrialism: New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio was his doctoral dissertation at Tech.

He also wrote Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems and the science fiction epic Degranon. Readers can visit DuaneSimolke.Com to learn more about the author and his books, and to find related resources.