Gerald Haslam

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Gerald William Haslam (born March 18, 1937) is an author who has focused on rural and small towns in California's Great Central Valley including its poor and working class people of all colors. A native of Oildale, California, Haslam has received numerous literary awards. Most recently in a pair of biographies he and wife Janice E. Haslam have examined the life of Senator S. I. Hayakawa (In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa) and the life of a Depression migrant (Leon Patterson: A California Story). Reviewer David Peck labeled Haslam "the quintessential California writer." ("Gerald Haslam. the Heartland's Voice," The Californians, Jan.-Feb., 1988)

Early life and education[edit]

Haslam was born in Bakersfield, California, the son of an oil worker. Growing up in nearby Oildale, he attended Garces Memorial High School before working as a farm field hand, a store clerk and an oil field roustabout and roughneck. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 through 1960. He attended Bakersfield College 1955-'57, 1960–61, then married Janice E. Pettichord in 1961. He then attended San Francisco State University, where he earned a B.A in 1963 and an M.A. in 1965. Haslam also attended, and gives great credit to, Washington State University, 1965 and 1966. He completed a Ph.D. from The Union Graduate School, (Cincinnati, OH) in 1980. He played college football, ran track and boxed in the Golden Gloves. He is a member of the Bakersfield College Track/Cross-country Hall of Fame.

Haslam's wife, Janice E. Haslam, has edited all his books and co-authored of three of them. They are the parents of Fred Haslam, lead developer of Sim City 2000; of "Anomalies" website developer Garth Haslam; and of magazine editor Alexandra Russell, who has been her father's partner on two books. Two other Haslam progeny—research biologist Simone Haslam Sawyer and Vivarium manager Carlos Haslam—are not involved in writing/publishing. Gerald and Janice are also the grandparents of 13.

Career[edit]

Haslam was a professor of English at Sonoma State University (SSU) from 1967 to 1997. As a professor emeritus at SSU, he has occasionally taught for the Oscher Lifelong Learning program (Sonoma State University)Template:See Oscher course catalogs He taught one course a year for the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of San Francisco from 2001-2915. Template:See Fromm Institute Course Catalogues, 2002-2015 During his time at SSU he published numerous articles and stories in national and regional magazines. He was a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle's Sunday magazine and was a Contributing Writer for the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine, and continues to be an op-ed contributor to the Sacramento Bee. Haslam also served for a time as a commentator for KQED-FM's "The California Report." His writing is widely anthologized.

Literary awards[edit]

  • 2016 Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction Award (from US Review of Books) for Grace Period
  • 2016 Eric Hoffer Culture Award, Honorable Mention, (from US Review of Books) for Leon Patterson: A California Story
  • 2013 Award of Merit (from the American Association for State and Local History) for In Thought and Action
  • 2013 S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize (from the Institute of General Semantics) for In Thought and Action
  • 2006 Josephine Miles Award (from PEN Oakland) for Haslam's Valley
  • 2005 Delbert and Edith Wylder Award (from the Western Literature Association)
  • 2004 Certificate of Commendation (from the California Arts Council)
  • 2001 Western States Book Award (fiction) for Straight White Male
  • 2001 Silver Medal (from FOREWORD magazine) for Straight White Male
  • 2001 Carey McWilliams Award (from the California Studies Association)
  • 2001 Certificate of Commendation (from the American Association for State and Local History) for Workin' Man Blues
  • 2000 Ralph J. Gleason Award (from Rolling Stone, BMI and NYU) for Workin' Man Blues
  • 1999 Distinguished Achievement Award (from the Western Literature Association)
  • 1994 Commonwealth Club Silver Medal for The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland
  • 1994 Award of Merit (from the American Association for State and Local History) for The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland
  • 1994 Bay Area Book Reviewers' Award for The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland
  • 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award (from Publishers' Marketing Association) for Many Californias: Literature from the Golden State
  • 1990 Josephine Miles Award (from PEN Oakland) for That Constant Coyote
  • 1989 Creative Writing Fellowship (from the California Arts Council)
  • 1988 Honorable Mention, SPUR Short Fiction Award (from Western Writers of America) for "The Estero"
  • 1985 Bernard Ashton Raborg Award (from AMELIA magazine) for "William Saroyan and the Critics"
  • 1983 Special Mention, Pushcart Prize (for "The Man Who Cultivated Fire")
  • 1971 Honorable Mention, Joseph Henry Jackson Award (for "Okies")
  • 1969 Arizona Quarterly Award (for "The Subtle Thread")

Community Honors[edit]

  • n.d. "Alumni Hotshot," San Francisco State University
  • 2014 "100 Stars," Bakersfield College Centennial
  • 2010 Commencement speaker, California State University, Bakersfield
  • 2009 Award of Distinguished Service, Yosemite Association
  • 2008 Hall of Honor, Garces Memorial High School
  • 2007 Levan Visiting Eminent Scholar, Bakersfield College
  • 2007 Track & Field/Cross-country Hall of Fame, Bakersfield College
  • 2007 Lawrence Clark Powell Memorial Invitational Lecturer, UCLA Library
  • 2003 Sequoia—Giant of the Valley (Lifetime Achievement Award), Great Valley Center Presidents' Circle
  • 1993 Outstanding Literary Artist, County of Kern
  • 1992 Friends of the SSU Library Faculty Award
  • 1989 Meritorious Performance Award, Sonoma State University
  • 1986 Fulbright Senior Lectureship
  • 1986 Meritorious Performance Award, Sonoma State University
  • 1984 Meritorious Performance Award, Sonoma State University
  • 1978 "Honorary Okie" from State of Oklahoma

Publications[edit]

Fiction

  • Okies: Selected Stories (1st edition, 1973, New West Publications, 2nd ed, 1974; 3rd ed, Peregrine-Smith, 1975)
  • Masks: A Novel (Old Adobe Press, 1976)
  • The Wages of Sin: Collected Stories (Duck Down Press/ Windriver Books, 1980)
  • Hawk Flights: Visions of the West (Seven Buffaloes Press, 1983)
  • Snapshots: Glimpses of the Other California (Devil Mountain Books, 1985)
  • The Man Who Cultivated Fire (Capra Press, 1987)
  • That Constant Coyote: California Stories (Univ. of Nevada Press, 1990)
  • Condor Dreams & Other Fictions (Univ.of Nevada Press, 1994)
  • The Great Tejon Club Jubilee (Devil Mountain Books, 1996)
  • Manuel and the Madman (Thwack! Pow! Productions, 2000)
  • Straight White Male (Univ. of Nevada Press, 2000)
  • Haslam's Valley (Heyday Books, 2005)
  • Grace Period (Univ. of Nevada Press, 2006)

Non-Fiction

  • The Language of the Oil Fields (Old Adobe Press, 1972)
  • Voices of a Place: Social and Literary Essays from the Other California (Devil Mountain Books, 1987)
  • Coming of Age in California (Devil Mountain Books 1990; second, expanded edition, 2000)
  • The Other California (Capra Press, 1990; second, expanded edition, Univ. of Nevada Press, 1994)
  • The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland (with photographers Stephen Johnson & Robert Dawson; Univ. of California Press, 1993)
  • Workin' Man Blues: Country Music in California (With Alexandra Haslam Russell & Richard Chon, Univ. of California Press, 1999)
  • In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa (with Janice E. Haslam; Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2011)
  • Leon Patterson: A California Story (with Janice E. Haslam, Devil Mountain Books, 2014)

Anthologies edited

  • (ed.) Forgotten Pages of American Literature (Houghton-Mifflin, 1970)
  • (ed.) Western Writing (University of New Mexico Press, 1974)
  • (ed. with James D. Houston) California Heartland: Writing from the Great Central Valley (Capra Press, 1978)
  • (ed. with J. Golden Taylor, et al.) Literary History of the American West (Texas Christian University Press, 1987)
  • (ed.) Many Californias: Literature from the Golden State (University of Nevada Press, 1992; second edition, 1999)
  • (ed. with Alexandra R. Haslam) Where Coyotes Howl and Wind Blows Free: Growing Up in the West (Univ of Nevada Press, 1995)
  • (ed.) Jack London's Golden State: Selected California Writings (Heyday Books, 1999)

Booklets and Monographs

  • William Eastlake (Steck-Vaughn Southwest Writers' Series, 1970)
  • (ed.) Afro-American Oral Literature (Harper & Row, 1974)
  • Jack Schaefer (Boise State University Western Writers' Series, 1976)
  • Voices of a Place: The Great Central Valley (California Academy of Sciences, 1986)
  • Lawrence Clark Powell (Boise State University Western Writers' Series, 1992)
  • (with Stephen Glasser) Out of the Slush Pile (Poets & Writers Inc., 1993)
  • The Horned Toad (Thwack! Pow! Productions, 1995)
  • An Instructor's Guide to Where Coyotes Howl and Wind Blows Free (Univ. of Nevada Press, 1996)
  • Gerald Haslam in Conversation with Jonah Raskin (Sonoma County Literary Arts Guild, 2006)

References[edit]

Breiger, Marek., "Haslam's Oildale, Our California," California English, 28:4 (September/October, 1992); Dunn, Geoffrey, "Central Valley Boys," San Francisco Review of Books, 16:1 (Summer, 1991); Houston, James D., "Gerald Haslam's The Other California," California History, LXXII:3 (Fall 1993); Locklin, Gerald, "The Emergence of Gerald Haslam," Small Press Review April, 1989; Locklin, Gerald. "Gerald Haslam," Dictionary of Literary Biography, Number 99 (1989); Locklin, Gerald. "Gerald Haslam," Updating the Literary West]], Texas Christian University Press, 1997; Locklin, Gerald. Gerald Haslam, Western Writers Series, Boise, ID., No.77 (1989); Locklin, Gerald & Charles Stetler, "Interview with Gerald Haslam," Home Planet News, 4:3 (Fall 1983; Maloney, Mary Grace, Central Valley Mythology: The Works of Gerald Haslam, Honors Humanities Thesis, Stanford University, 1985; Peck, David,, "Gerald Haslam, the Heartland's Voice," The Californians, Jan-Feb 1988; Penna, Christina, "Heartland," California English 23:2 (March–April 1987); Ronald, Ann, "Gerald Haslam and Ann Ronald: A Conversation," Western American Literature, XXX:3 (August 1987); Siegel, Mark,, "Contemporary Trends in Western American Fiction," A Literary History of the American West (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1978; Speer, Laurel, "Harry and Gerry." Small Press Review, June, 1988; Starr, Kevin,, "Six Californias and the Central Valley," State Librarian's Weekly Column (online), May 19, 1995; Weeks, Jonina, A Contemporary Western Writer, Gerald Haslam: His Means to a New West and the World, Sonoma State University Master's Thesis, 1988; Wylder, Delbert, "Recent Western Fiction," Journal of the West, January 1988

External links[edit]