Gillian Newberry book signing at Book Shelf in Tryon Dec. 14

Published 3:17 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gillian Newberry, PhD, beloved retired botany professor at USC Upstate, has published two books just in time for your Christmas giving and enjoyment.

A Year Of Waiting is a lovely book; you’ll want to read it yourself and give it to friends and family of those who have had their lives changed by cancer.  Dr. Newberry was teaching at USC Upstate, where she taught botany from 1976 until her retirement, when she received the call that began her year of waiting.  She tells us, often with great humor and always with truth, about that year.  The miraculous botanical drawings are unlike anything she’s done in any other year of her life.  There are 23 of them, and the originals will hang at the Spartanburg YMCA, in the Community Room, where she is an active member and often a speaker.  You will notice that the drawings become more colorful as the year progresses, and her recovery and lessons in living prove an inspiration.

It’s been twenty years since Gill lived with that diagnosis; the dated drawings are a reminder of the passage of time, with the last one in November of 1997.  She has been busy these two decades—with students, with travels all over the world (and those travels written up), and with field trips.  On her own property she discovered the endangered Hexastylis naniflora, and her protection of that property through SPACE (Spartanburg Area Conservancy) is another inspiring story—but she never takes herself too seriously.  During that year of months, even though she was not teaching, she was conducting field studies, and one of her stories, “I’m Not Going to Tell My Mother,” is a reminder of the fear that has not gone away for too many of our citizens, her students.

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Tales From A Wandering Mind will delight former students in Dr. Newberry’s botany classes at USC Spartanburg and those who have been on field trips with her to Pearson’s Falls, the Ashmore Tract, and all over the state and the world—and those who love dogs and funny stories.  She has also produced a thumb drive of her botanical pictures taken over forty years of teaching and observing; she has made these available to various environmental groups.

The drawings and illustrations from both books may be found in card format at certain book stores.

Her books will be available at the Book Shelf in Tryon (86 North Trade Street, Tryon, 828-859-9304) where she will do a reading and book signing on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.

– submitted by Eva Pratt