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Tuesday, May 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Story Of Pioneer Woman Journalist Makes A Colorful Memoir

By Dan Webster Staff Writer

Lucile Mc Donald was a Northwest journalistic institution. Between the years 1916 and 1987, she wrote for a number of newspapers, including the Eugene (Ore.) Daily Guard (now Register-Guard), the Coos Bay (Ore.) Times, the Bend (Ore.) Bulletin, the Oregon Statesman, the Cordova (Alaska) Daily Times, the Portland Oregonian, the Bellevue (Wash.) Journal-American and, for 23 years, the Seattle Times.

But that was hardly her whole story. Before she died in 1992 at the age of 93, she had lived in such exotic places as Istanbul, Athens, Paris, Alexandria, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Mexico City. She wrote a number of books, both for children and adults, and has been honored with more than 20 writer’s awards.

She even worked as a correspondent for the New York Times during a 1929-30 stay in Istanbul.

A pioneer working in what was then considered a man’s field, Mc Donald was also a woman of her time. Throughout the ‘30s, she traveled with her husband, kept house, raised children and pecked away at her typewriter.

“Lucile Saunders Mc Donald was one of the foremost American newspaperwomen of the 20th century,” writes Lorraine McConaghy in the introduction to “A Foot in the Door: The Reminiscences of Lucile Mc Donald” (Washington State University Press, 295 pages, $19.95 paperback), the memoir written by Mc Donald and compiled by her son Richard.

As Richard Mc Donald explains in the book’s preface, “My role as editor has been to compress and smooth out the original text with minimal impact on content and style.”

The result is her story, as she saw it, in her own words. It begins, fittingly, “Even as a child I wanted to write.”

Pressing news

Speaking of university presses, the Eastern Washington University Press has been named one of the top 10 presses in the country.

According to the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook 1994, which is compiled by Gale Research Inc., EWU Press is ranked seventh in the nation. A literary press publishes a combination of poetry, fiction, criticism and scholarship.

Among the books that EWU Press has published are: “The Man Who Was Marked by Winter,” a collection of poetry by Paula Meehan; “Being Elsewhere,” a collection of essays by John Sisk; “Crossovers,” a collection of poetry by Thomas Reiter; and “Vertebrae,” a collection of poetry by Samuel Green.

James McAuley, a professor of creative writing at Eastern, serves as press director. Robert Herold, an EWU professor of political history, is the publisher.

Heading south

If you’re thinking of spending the last few weeks before school starts on the road in Oregon, you might consider consulting - if not buying - a copy of “Family Adventures Guide: Oregon” (200 pages, $9.95 paperback) before you go.

The book, which was written by Corvallis, Ore., author Cheryl McLean for Globe Pequot Press, is part of the publishing house’s family travel series. Since I wasn’t sent a review copy, I can only quote from the press release.

“The author and her family explored the many attractions geared toward families throughout the Beaver State and have compiled a listing of some of the best adventures in each area,” an anonymous publicist writes. “Among those are children’s museums, zoos and aquariums; campgrounds and hiking trails; amusement parks; festivals; outdoor activities; and more.”

Culture cornered

Mona Lake Jones is many things. She’s a poet, an educator, a lecturer and performer.

She’s also a graduate of Lewis and Clark High School, a fact that makes her scheduled Sept. 16 talk for the Spokane YWCA World Mutual Services Committee something of a homecoming. Jones, whose parents Pauline and Sylvester Lake still live in Spokane, will address the World Mutual Services Luncheon at the YWCA’s Comstock Room.

The author of a book of poetry, “The Color of Culture,” Jones now serves as Seattle’s multicultural poet laureate.

Luncheon tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the YWCA. For further information, call 326-1190.

Brock talk

From the chapbook “Love & Other Secrets of the Sea” by Spokane poet Randall Brock comes the poem “Seduction”:

“as I stare/ at the/ tide before/ the mirror/ of my/ holy ghost/ those soft eyes/ peel/ my shirt.”

“Love & Other Secrets of the Sea,” published by Bud and Nikki Cashon, is priced at $2.50. Send money orders to: P.O. Box 1673, Spokane, WA 99210.

The reader board

Irish writer Jack Mahon, author of “Only the Teachers Grow Old,” will read from his autobiography and other works at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington. Mahon, 62, retired in 1993 after teaching mostly in Galway. He is the author of “The Galway Races” and the best-selling “The Game of My Life,” which is a compilation of 32 interviews with Irish sporting stars.

, DataTimes

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