Good news on the PBS front: Mediabistro.com’s Diane Clehane has the scoop on Shirley MacLaine returning for Season 4 of Downton Abbey. “I loved doing the show,” MacLaine told the blogger. “Everyone was so welcoming and great about everything. I was amazed that no matter what the weather — because it rained a lot when we were shooting — they all went on as if the sun was shining. They were wonderfully professional.” MacLaine’s character, Martha Levinson, is the American mother of Lady Cora, and the grandmother of Mary, Edith and Sybil (who recently died in childbirth). Her not-very-subtle character offers a sharp contrast to the prim-and-proper Violet, played by Maggie Smith. Read more at mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/category/lunch.
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Among the stops on C-SPAN’s recent swing through Santa Fe was a visit to Pojoaque Pueblo on King’s Day, when the network captured an Eagle Dance and interview with Pojoaque Pueblo Gov. George Rivera, who talked about tribal traditions. Go to “LCV Cities Tour — Santa Fe: Pojoaque Pueblo” to view the segment.
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Santa Fe writer and visual artist Beth Surdut recently won first prize in the nonfiction category at the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards writing competition, according to the Arizona Daily Star. The competition received 310 entries in three categories — fiction, nonfiction and poetry — from throughout the United States. Surdut won for Listening to Raven, a visual storytelling project featured in The New Mexican in 2010. “When I started doing the drawings, I realized that the story would come,” Surdut said. She now has a Facebook page and comprehensive blog featuring her compelling stories and multi-media artwork.
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La Fonda Chairman of the Board Jenny Kimball is helming our new favorite blog, “View From the Plaza,” at www.lafondasantafe.wordpress.com. Catch her interview with local jewelry designer, Katherine Jetter, who talks about (among other things) her famous customers. “Just last night, “ Jetter said, “Rebel Wilson, the Aussie comedian from Bridemaids, hosted the Critics Choice Awards, and wore my bracelet and ring! I am presently doing the red carpet styling for the Grammys, the Golden Globes and the Oscars, so my jewelry may end up being worn at all three events. Stay tuned. After the Awards season, I’ll let you know who wore what.”
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In the Feb. 4 issue of The Christian Science Monitor, Santa Fe writer Charlotte Berney recommends The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons in the “Monitor readers share their favorite book picks” section. The story, Berney said, “is based on real events that happened in World War II when a young Jewish Austrian girl is sent to live in England to escape the unfolding terrors in Vienna.” The book details “the struggles she and her family face,” and “how the war upended individual lives and society in general. It is beautifully written and deeply felt.”
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