Come to our next Brown Bag Book Club to discuss News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
Register and join us at the Brown Bag Book Club at noon on Thursday, March 25, 2021 for a virtual discussion.
By Paulette Jiles
Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower, veteran of three wars, earns his living traveling around and reading news stories to gatherings of townspeople. While reading in Wichita Falls one evening in the winter of 1870, he sees an old acquaintance. Britt Johnson, who has just come through Indian Country with his crew. The men are returning a 10-year-old girl to her aunt and uncle in Castroville after she spent four years with the Kiowa. A free Black man, Britt is reluctant to have a white child in his custody. He persuades the Captain to escort young Johanna on the remainder of the three-week journey. The Captain, who has grown daughters of his own, agrees. Challenges and dangers confront the two during their journey. Jiles unfolds a taut, evocative story of post–Civil War Texas, with the smooth assuredness of a burnished fireside tale.
““News of the World” is a narrow but exquisite book about the joys of freedom (experienced even by a raging river threatening to overrun its banks); the discovery of unexpected, proprietary love between two people who have never experienced anything like it; pure adventure in the wilds of an untamed Texas; and the reconciling of vastly different cultures (as when Kidd has to explain to Johanna, who is all set to collect a white man’s scalp, that this “is considered very impolite” and simply isn’t done). That’s a lot to pack into a short (213 pages), vigorous volume, but Ms. Jiles is capable of saying a lot in few words.” –
Review: In ‘News of the World,’ Unlikely Companions Bond on a Perilous Journey by Janet Maslin, The New York Times (call the library about getting access!)
Read more about author Paulette Jones in this article from the May 2020 issue of Texas Monthly.