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Wednesday, Oct 16 2013 04:23 PM

Oildale native and wife to receive national book award

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    By File photo courtesy of Gerald Haslam

    Gerald and Janice Haslam, co-authors of "Leon Patterson: A California Story."

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The Institute of General Semantics has chosen a book by Oildale native Gerald Haslam and his wife, Janice Haslam, as the winner of the 2013 Samuel I. Hayakawa Book Prize.

The annual award goes to the most outstanding work published in the past five years on topics of direct relevance to the discipline of general semantics, and includes a cash award of $1,000, the institute said in a news release.

The Haslams' book, "In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S.I. Hayakawa," was published in 2011 by University of Nebraska Press. The biography examines the life of the teacher who became a sometimes-controversial college president and later a U.S. senator. It draws on interviews with friends and family members, as well as Hayakawa's own papers and journals.

The prize comes just weeks after the American Association for State and Local History presented the Haslams with its Award of Merit from the association's Leadership in History Awards.

Yes, the book prize is named after the subject of the Haslams' biography.

"We're thrilled to see that our biography of S.I. Hayakawa is receiving attention and has received another award, this time from the Institute for General Semantics," Janice Haslam said in an email.

The Haslams, who live near Petaluma in Northern California, are no strangers to national literary awards. In 2006, Gerald Haslam received the Josephine Miles National Literary Award for "Haslam's Valley," and in 2000, the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award for "Workin' Man Blues."

The Hayakawa Book Prize will be presented to the Haslams on Oct. 25 at the Princeton Club in New York City.

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