Expat authors treat the history of writing and 2018 elections

Alfred Stites

One expat is completing a massive project that catalogues the written word from chunks of clay to the present.

A second has completed the third in a fictional series about Costa Rican politics.

And an expat who died in 1984 is the subject of a book that uses his diary during the time he lived here.

The expat with the massive project is Alfred Stites, a World War II Army Air Corps pilot who operated a Washington D.C., gallery for years featuring rare books and manuscripts. Now he has compiled “History of the Written Word,” which contains replicas of original book leaves with explanatory texts using material from the Lilly Rare Book Library at Indiana University.

Stites said in an email that the book will be ready in three months. He has a varied career. According to his Web site, he was a consultant to non-profit entities in the performing arts for over two decades, specializing in and lecturing on fundraising, He also was the consultant on a Ford Foundation performing arts project for Affiliate Artists, Inc., in New York, among many others, and he was also the director of performing arts venues the Bucks County Playhouse, the Walnut Street Theater, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and Wolf Trap, Vienna, Virginias, the Web site says.

“. . . today there is no record  — photography and text explanation – in one book of all of the different types of writings and languages that created communication over the past 5,000 years,” said Stites on another Web site. “Also, there has never been a ‘Book of Leaf Books’ printed with pictures from a cuneiform tablet, through Egyptian hieroglyphs on papyrus, early Greek and Roman literature, beautiful Book of Hours leaves, early printing since Gutenberg and so on, each with an explanatory text. This is what I want to do, and this project will be unique.”

He explained in a video that a leaf book is a folder that contains a leaf of an historical document and contemporary text explaining what the document is. What he is publishing really is a giant collection of leaf books.
Stites said he knows that print soon will be obsolete and that students in the future will not have documents to hold in their hands. Instead, they will have electronic images because electronic books are easier to store and they do not age like books made with paper. So his book is designed to last at least 500 years to give future students and scholars an example of a book. He said there will be 165 photos of manuscripts and book leaves in his work.

The second author is Albert A. Correia, an expat who has
produced the third work in his Eden Trilogy. The latest is “A President for Eden,” and it is about a fictional 2018 presidential election here. He announced in July that the book soon would be published.

Like the previous two books, “A President of Eden” is electronic and available on this Web site. The book chronicles the hard-fought election as three candidates fight it out to the end, and then it is only decided by a shocking last-minute maneuver by  a determined candidate, he said.

Author Dulcimer Nielsen, who wrote a book in 1979 with Ed James, announced via email that she has updated the work to include the last years of James in Costa Rica. The book is “Six-guns to Satellites,” which describes James as an authentic cowboy who spent most of his life in Oregon, as did Ms. Nielsen.

She said “Disgusted with modern life in the U.S.A., Ed moved to Costa Rica’s jungles in 1976 at the age of 81, seeking a simpler, saner lifestyle. He was well ahead of his time.” The book “is for a new generation of young people looking for meaning in life beyond shallow technology and materialism; and for those of us old enough to remember and wish we could return to old times with ‘real friends,’ blue skies and wild horses whistling from high desert ridges,” she added.

The book includes adventures and observations taken from a dairy that James kept in the three years he was in Costa Rica.
The book is available on Amazon. The original book was  “Hanging and Rattling.”

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