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October 1, 2001

Leading Book Illustrator to Discuss
New Edition of Classic Western Novel
Shane's Author has UConn Connection

A presentation and book signing by Wendell Minor, one of the nation's leading book illustrators, will take place on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

Minor will discuss Shane, the classic western novel by Jack Schaefer first published in 1949. Minor is the illustrator of a new edition of the book, which includes 14 color illustrations.

During the event, Carl Schaefer, the author's son, will share memories of his father. Carl Schaefer is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UConn.

The presentation is in conjunction with an exhibit at the Dodd Center, "Shane: Revisiting an American Classic." The display features Minor's preliminary sketches and original paintings, pages from two versions of the original manuscript, and printed versions of the book. The exhibit runs through Oct. 19.

Shane, Schaefer's first book, is the story of a stranger who helps settlers in Wyoming deal with land-hungry ranchers. It is written from the perspective of a young boy. The book was made into a movie, released in 1953, starring Alan Ladd and Jack Palance. It was nominated for five Oscars.

As a youngster growing up in the 1950s, Minor says he was taken with the myth of the Wild West. He saw Shane when it was first released, and had no idea that the story he loved was already in book form.

Schaefer's other novels include Company of Cowards, The Plainsmen, and Monte Walsh. Since his death in 1991 at age 83, scholars and critics have become more interested in studying his works.

In the illustrator's preface to Shane, Minor says, "Schaefer deserves much more recognition for his outstanding contribution to American letters than he has received, and I hope this newly release edition of Shane will help renew interest in his work."

Minor's art work has graced the covers of dozens of books, including those by authors Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg, Jack London, John Hersey, David McCullough, and James Michener.

His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibits and is in many permanent and private collections. Minor lives and works in Washington, Conn.

Sherry Fisher

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