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Schuyler Jones to hold two readings for reissue of memoir

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, August 31, 2011, at 9:40 p.m.

Retired anthropologist, Oxford professor, museum curator, world traveler and bibliophile Schuyler Jones returned more than a decade ago to Wichita, the city his grandfather J.R. Mead helped found, and is preparing to leave again.

Recently widowed, he’s moving to East Africa to live with his son, Peter, who has a safari business.

Before he goes, he’ll present a new edition of his memoir, “A Stranger Abroad,” at a reception and book-signing Sept. 10 at the Sedgwick County Historical Museum, and at another event Sept. 22 at Mead's Corner coffeehouse.

Jones’ memoir, not an autobiography but a loose collection of stories from his life and travels, is being reissued by Wichita’s Rowfant Press in a limited run of signed, numbered, case-bound copies. The publication was financed by a group of investors led by local arts patron Ann Garvey.

“A Stranger Abroad” captures bygone places and times with vivid detail, wry humor, a bit of wistfulness and a British sense of understatement.

As an example, the chapter called “Drinks with Ernest Hemingway in Nairobi” spends all of one paragraph on the famed writer, and the rest — tightly woven and well told — on the city of Nairobi, two rival hotels and a mercurial Australian character named Keith.

Jones is also the author of “Under the African Sun” and edited his grandfather’s memoir, "Hunting and Trading on the Great Plains, 1859-1875," a key reference for that time period, in which J.R. Mead details his life and travels on the frontier during Kansas’ transition from territory to state.

If you go: SCHUYLER JONES BOOK-SIGNINGS

First event:

What: Reception for and book-signing by Schuyler Jones, author of “A Stranger Abroad”

Where: Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 10

How much: Free; books will be for sale

Second event:

What: Reading and book-signing by Jones

Where: Mead's Corner coffeehouse, 430 E. Douglas

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 22

Lisa McLendon is the Books page editor. Reach her at 316-268-6529 or lmclendon@wichitaeagle.com.

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