English professor emeritus presents new book at reading

Cassandra Martinez, Staff Writer

Linfield College has hosted many speaker events in the past, many of them are interesting and enjoyable to listen too.

The Nicholson Library’s Austin Reading Room was packed with audience members for author and professor emeritus, Robin Lawton, on Thursday, Feb.11.

Lawton is the author of “A Love Story and a Riddle: The Life and Letters of Helen Hunter Dixon Evans.” She was introduced by English Professor Barbara Seidman who gave a brief introduction, including the fact that Lawton started teaching at Linfield back in 1979.

Lawton began the reading with a few dedications to her editor, friends, and her family for being supportive throughout the book’s journey.

She then started to talk about the family background and how it led up to the inspiration of her book.

She talked about her parents and how her mother was from America and her father was from South Africa.

She told the audience that her mother documented the events in her life through various letters. She mentioned how she needed to include footnotes in order for the readers to understand parts of the story.

“So 150 footnotes later, my book was complete,” said Lawton, which the audience responded with laughter.

Lawton explained about the events that were happening during the story, examples like the Crash of Wall Street, Great Depression, the era of Nazi Germany, and World War II.

After she read passages from her book she answered some questions from the audience. One audience member asked if she used all of the letters that her mother wrote. “Only two letters weren’t used for the book,” said Lawton. She talked about the importance of how they had to examine the letters carefully in order to write them in the book correctly.

She brought some of the letters, along with other personal items, that helped along the book’s development for the audience to view after the reading.

Lawton’s book is a wonderful story proving that despite all of the odds, love and family are strong enough to conquer all odds.