Jim Turner presents “Writers of the Purple Sage.” Historian and writer Jim Turner presents the stories and works of five Arizona novelists. Zane Grey spent his honeymoon at the Grand Canyon and went on to be one of the first and most famous Western writers of all time; Harold Bell Wright came to Tucson with lung problems and became a best seller from 1900 to 1930. University of Arizona writing professor Richard Summers wrote Dark Madonna in 1937, capturing Hispanic culture and folklore. Byrd Baylor wrote a delightful and poignant novel with Tohono O’odham characters and customs, Yes is Better than No, and Susan Lowell wrote an award-winning young adult novel of a young Arizona ranch girl, My Name is Lavina Cumming, based closely on the life of her grandmother. Before retiring from the Arizona Historical Society, Jim Turner worked with more than 70 museums across the state. He co-authored the 4th-grade textbook The Arizona Story, and his pictorial history, Arizona: Celebration of the Grand Canyon State, was a 2012 Southwest Books of the Year selection. Jim moved to Tucson in 1951, earned a M.A. in U.S. history in 1999, and has been presenting Arizona history for more than forty years. Jim is author of The Mighty Colorado from the Glaciers to the Gulf and Four Corners USA: Wonders of the American Southwest.
This presentation was made possible through the Arizona Humanities AZ Speaks Program.