An Evening of Storytelling with Joan Brooks Baker, Mark Cross, Philip Cook
Date, Time & Location
About the Event
We will be taking COVID precautions, masks will be required for the duration of the program and seating will be spaced accordingly.
We will simultaneously be live Zooming our events for those out of town or who would prefer it. Register to watch it here on Zoom.
All three books are available, signed, by calling Collected works at (505) 988-4226
The Magnolia Code
In her memoir, The Magnolia Code, a name she and her sister gave to the unwritten rules they were expected to live by, Joan Brooks Baker takes the reader on her personal journey - growing up privileged as the Yankee daughter of dyed-in-the-wool Southerners, in the post–World War II New York City - to finding where she belonged, as a photographer, living in the high desert of New Mexico. The Magnolia Code decreed that appearances are more important than truth, and the desires of men always trump those of women. Neither sat well with Baker. She might have succumbed to the promise of easier safety the Magnolia Code offered; instead, she persevered in her desire to find her own way, navigating the paradox of the diverging paths of security offered by “the code” and her own sense of who she wanted to be in the world. The Magnolia Code has been honored as a 2020 Distinguished Favorite by the Independent Press Awards and a 2020 Finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Memoir category. Joan's photography is on exhibit at Collected Works, stop by any time to view.
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A Tale of Santa Fe: Betty Stewart in the City Different
Betty Stewart faced significant life challenges — attention deficit disorder, alcoholism, chronic cardiac problems and an attraction to women in a time and place where homosexuality was most often a shameful secret. She overcame these challenges and built a successful and fulfilling life in Santa Fe. That she was able to do so is a tribute to both Betty and her adopted city. A Tale of Santa Fe is the biography of an intriguing character, but it is also the story of a special place. Its insightful explanations of how Santa Fe developed its architectural identity, how it became a refuge for misfits and how and why it became so popular in the 1980s lead to a better understanding of the City Different.
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To Kill the Messenger
Philip Cook's novel, To Kill the Messenger, is the story of Russell Griswold—an itinerant newspaper editor—who came to northern New Mexico after the Civil War to start a weekly newspaper in the small town of San Miguel. He hoped to earn a modest living and help build a thriving and vibrant community. The arrival of the railroad around 1900 brought hundreds of Anglo transplants from the mid-West and beyond. The newcomers started businesses, established schools and churches, built hotels along with gambling halls and saloons. In this raw setting of growing prosperity and lawlessness, Griswold’s newspaper—"The Colfax Gazette"—offered a smattering of local and national news and a steady diet of lectures on the duties of good citizenship and codes of decent behavior. Griswold’s published comments on activities that he finds unlawful or inappropriate were often cruel and demeaning. Ultimately this leads to a sudden and violent attempt on his life. There is any number of possible suspects whether aggrieved or not. The gritty and colorful case of characters includes a self-important preacher, a brothel keeper, a demented Civil War veteran, and a helpless young woman with an infant child and no husband. So, who would want to kill a newspaper editor?