Harper & Row has introduced Words on the Page, The World in Your Hands, a fiction and poetry series designed for adults in literacy programs. The project began years ago with Jose Garcia, a construction worker and literacy student who was dismayed by the childish primers he was given and wanted something real to read. His teacher, Virginia Solotaroff, and another, Catherine Lipkin, created an anthology of their own. ”We wanted it to be dignified and literary,” Lipkin says. Looking for reading simple in syntax and vocabulary but rich in meaning, they wrote to a long list of contemporary authors, asking for contributions. Dozens of writers, from Richard Ford and Alice Walker to John Hersey, wrote original pieces or adapted earlier material. Lipkin, who tested the poems and stories in her classes, was amazed at the results. ”I cannot tell you what it is like,” she says, ”to see someone read a poem for the first time.”
A Woman Named Jane
The outspoken Jane Fonda is speaking out again. Perhaps dismayed by the latest crop of unauthorized tell-alls (Citizen Jane and Jane Fonda, both due to be published in June), Fonda is cooperating on a biography with Barry Golson, the former executive editor of Playboy, and Robert Scheer, the political journalist known for Thinking Tunafish, Talking Death, and With Enough Shovels. ”She’s known them for a long time. They’re people she trusts,” her publicist says. Steve Wasserman, the editor who signed up the book for Doubleday (and has since left), says that Fonda has urged her friends and colleagues to cooperate with Golson and Scheer. ”So this will be a serious critical biography of her life and times, as well as a social history of the last three or four decades,” he says. However, Wasserman emphasizes that Fonda will have no control over the project.