'FRIENDS' SEEK TO GET LUTZ NOVEL PUBLISHED...
"I am helping Dr. Fred Tarpley, a dear friend from my OLD Korean days, with genealogical research into the life of Eusibia Lutz and her extended family. She was a very interesting person. I'll keep you posted on my research. Fred is also working on another book about the love letters to and from Eusibia." -- Talkington
[From THE UNIVERSITY NEWS, Texas A&M-Commerce, January 6, 2006]
'FRIENDS' SEEK TO GET LUTZ NOVEL PUBLISHED
Friends and former students, still inspired by memories of a legendary French teacher at Texas A&M University-Commerce, are preparing to publish her epic historical novel, "Stranger in Babylon."
Eusibia Lutz instilled enthusiasm for the French language and culture in her students from 1934 until her retirement in 1972. At her death in 1988, she was negotiating with a literary agent to publish the novel she had researched during trips to France and throughout her teaching career.
From Fort Worth to Texarkana, from Paris to Tyler, and in other areas throughout the Southwest, many high school and college French students are the legacy of Lutz, who prepared teachers for careers teaching languages.
Her novel, "Stranger in Babylon," is a work of historical fiction about a young woman caught up in the intrigue of the French court during the 16th century. Denise, the fictional heroine, seeks the identity of her unknown half-brother. She has been told his name is Henry and that he is a nobleman, but there are three Henrys who qualify: Henry Valois (later King Henry III), Henry of Navarre (later King Henry IV), and Henry Guise.
Dr. Fred Tarpley, Professor Emeritus of Literature and Languages and a former student and colleague of Lutz, has organized a group known as Friends of Mam'selle with the goal of getting the manuscript, which has lain dormant for two decades, published.
The group is accepting pre-publication subscriptions for the novel. For a $50 subscription, subscribers will receive two copies of the novel, have eight names listed on the dedication pages, and receive one of the fleur de lys pins that Lutz had collected in her world travels.
Known to her students as Mam'selle, Lutz completed her B.A. and M.A. in French at Southern Methodist University before assuming teaching duties in Commerce.
She is often remembered for her black and white wardrobe, which she started as a student fad at SMU and continued at the insistence of her students in Commerce.
At a time when Henry Ford was telling Americans that they could own a car in any color they desired so long as it was black, Lutz placed a special order to Chrysler for a white coupe, christened with a bottle of cream as Moby Dick by members of the French Club.
"Eventually, Miss Lutz broke out in Technicolor during the 1960s, but she continued to prefer black and white decor in her white brick home," Tarpley said.
Lutz's passion for world travel and chasing "historical and literary ghosts" wherever she went, influenced many of her students, who traveled with her and who still tour the world today.
In the early years of her teaching, she spent summers in France studying at the Sorbonne or the Alliance Francaise.
In the summer of 1939, she escaped World War II by boarding one of the last passenger ships leaving France just before German occupation. "President Sam Whitley of East Texas State Teachers College received several frantic cables during the days Lutz was trying to make her exit from France," Tarpley said.
Other members of the Friends of Mam'selle are Dr. William Carroll Adams, Professor Emeritus of Economics at A&M-Commerce; Dr. Genevieve Hogue Brown, dean of education at Sam Houston State University; Dr. Ralph L. Brown, professor of education at Jarvis Christian College; Patti Russ Gregg of Commerce; and Dr. Jane Armstrong Harper, division chair at Tarrant County College Northeast Campus.
Also Susan Binford Patton, Commerce school librarian; Dr. and Mrs. Otha Spencer, Professor Emeritus of Journalism and former teacher at A&M-Commerce; and Dr. William E. Tanner, English professor at Texas Woman's University.
Subscribers should make checks payable by Wednesday, Feb. 1, to Season of Harvest Publications and mail them to Dr. Fred Tarpley, 4540 FM 1568, Campbell, TX 75422. Additional information about the forthcoming book is available from Tarpley at 903-886-6498.
BELOVED FRENCH TEACHER -- Eusibia Lutz taught French at Texas A&M University-Commerce from 1934 until her retirement in 1972. At her death in 1988, she was negotiating with a literary agent to publish her novel, "Stranger in Babylon." Dr. Fred Tarpley, Professor Emeritus of Literature and Languages and a former student and colleague of Lutz, has organized a group known as Friends of Mam'selle with the goal of getting the manuscript published. The group is accepting pre-publication subscriptions for the novel. (A&M-Commerce file photo)
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