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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tour: DOWNSTREAM by Betty Jean Craige

Tour: DOWNSTREAM by Betty Jean Craige

Betty Jean Craige


          Betty Jean Craige is University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Director Emerita of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia. 

          She received her B.A. in Spanish Literature from Pomona College (1968) and her M.A. (1970) and Ph.D. (1974) in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington.  She taught at the University of Georgia from 1973 to 2011.

          Dr. Craige has published books in the fields of Spanish poetry, modern literature, history of ideas, politics, ecology, and art.  She is a scholar, a translator, a teacher, and a novelist.

          In 2010, Dr. Craige published in both hardback and audiobook Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Grey Parrot. In 2011 and 2012 she published a weekly Sunday column in the Athens Banner-Heraldtitled “Cosmo Talks.”

          Dr. Craige’s essays have appeared inPMLAThe Chronicle of Higher EducationThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Athens Banner Herald.

          Dr. Craige has received the University of Georgia Alumni Society Faculty Service Award (1994), the Albert Christ-Janer Award for Creativity in Research (2003), the Blue Key Service Award (2010), and the Women's Studies Faculty Award (2011).  She has also received awards for teaching, including the Honoratus Medal from the Honors Program.  The title “University Professor” was granted to her in 1995 as “highest recognition for significant impact on The University of Georgia.” On May 13, 2004, she received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities.

          On December 20, 2003, Dr. Craige delivered the graduate and professional schools’ commencement address at the University of Georgia. On January 27, 2012, she gave the University’s Founders Day Lecture. On September 17, 2013, she accepted the Jeannette Rankin Fund Founders' Award. In March of 2014, UGA's Comparative Literature Department honored her by establishing an annual lecture in her name.

          Dr. Craige was Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Delta Prize for Global Understanding.       Most recently she has written a murder mystery titled Downstream, published by Black Opal Books on November 26, 2014.




By Betty Jean Craige




ISBN: 9781626942011

Black Opal Publishing

Paperback: 318 pages

November 26, 2014, $11.75




At the celebration of his hundredth birthday, local billionaire Francis Hearty Withers announces to the people gathered on the front lawn of Witherston Baptist Church that he has finalized his will. In it he bequeaths $1 billion to his north Georgia hometown of Witherston and another $1 billion to be divided up equally among the town's 4,000 residents—in recognition of their support of a Senextra pharmaceutical factory. Senextra is a drug that enables individuals to lead healthy lives well into their second century, but it has some unanticipated consequences.

          The group assembled to hear Withers's announcement do not all applaud. One person carries a sign that says SENEXTRA VIOLATES MOTHER NATURE. Another, KEEP SENEXTRA OUT OF OUR SYSTEM. A third, WE DON'T NEED MORE OLD MEN.

          Withers flies into a rage. He vows to change his will and disinherit the community. Two days later he is found dead.

          In Betty Jean Craige's first murder mystery a few humans die in unusual circumstances. (A few others live in unusual circumstances.) Who dunnit?


Guest Post:

Betty Jean Craige, author of Downstream (Black Opal Books, 2014)
"Garbage in, garbage out." We hear that phrase often among computer geeks, who use it to explain the limitations of computer programs. Poor data input produces poor data output.
​"Garbage out, garbage in." We don't hear that phrase, but we should—among all of us who are concerned with human health. Pollution into our rivers and lakes produces pollution of our bodies. When we pollute our environment, we pollute ourselves. We get sick, and so do the other living components of our ecosystem. Everything undergoes change when we humans deposit our medications into our water supply.
​The medication of our water supply is the theme of my novel Downstream. The drug that elderly men are taking to prolong their lives leaves their bodies in their urine and enters the water supply of the fictive north Georgia town of Witherston. The drug affects the reproductive organs of Witherston's residents—men and women, dogs and frogs. Men grow breasts. Women get pregnant after menopause. Puppies are born with undescended testicles. Frogs are born with five legs. All of this happens because the longevity drug Senextra has polluted the town's water supply.
​Downstream is fiction, but it is not science fiction. We are learning every day that what we create—be it pharmaceutical drugs, industrial toxins, or pesticides—never goes away. We live with what we create. We drink it, we breathe it, we eat it. We all live downstream.
​Downstream is a murder mystery. A billionaire centenarian who credits Senextra for his long life is murdered. Who dunnit? Who would gain from the billionaire's death?
​And who gains from the pollution of our environment? If you think about that you may solve the mystery before you reach the last pages.
Dr. Betty Jean Craige has published books in the fields of Spanish poetry, modern literature, history of ideas, politics, ecology, and art.  She is a scholar, a translator, a teacher, and a novelist.

Review: DOWNSTREAM~A Witherston Murder Mystery by Betty Jean Craige

DOWNSTREAM is a delightfully involving cosy mystery, set in the luscious forested hills of North Georgia. Once home, for millennia, to Native tribes who lived as one with the land and forests, the area's extensive forests and streams now beckon to industrialists, such as centenarian Francis Henry Withers, last scion of the Founding Fathers of Witherston. Withers plans to use his multi-billions in a stranglehold on the town, either by bribery or threat. A pharmaceutical corporation needs his property to manufacture a life extension medication. Withers himself is villainous, but nor is he the only one. Small towns conceal a multitude of secrets.

DOWNSTREAM demonstrates all the best aspects of the cozy mystery category.

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