FINAL CHAPTER: Anne Underhill, a slight, bespectacled migrant from Illinois, was scarcely bigger than the mass market-paperback stands she constantly straightened and restocked, feather duster in hand, over decades of selling books in Tucson. Many customers at The Book Mark, where she worked for more than 20 years, knew her only as "the tiny little lady in the back." Her knowledge of publishing trends, literary history, and books of every description and genre, however, filled rooms. Anne endeared herself to generations of local readers by having a helpful, utterly complete answer to nearly every query, no matter how arcane. She seemed to have known every contemporary writer of note and to have read everything that ever passed through a printing press in several languages; and nothing made her happier than to share her enthusiasms with fellow bibliophiles.

Anne died on January 4, at the age of 62. Her passing marks a loss for those everywhere who love the printed word, and Tucson is the poorer for it.

INKSPOT: The only free legal advice you'll get from us is to check out Betty Carrington's Judicial Carousel, touted as "a semi-autobiographical exposé of the legal profession." The first-time novelist will sign copies of her new release from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, January 11, at The Haunted Bookshop, adjacent to Tohono Chul Park at 7211 N. Northern Ave. Carrington, a transplanted New Yorker, does freelance legal work for Tucson courts and the Public Defender's Office. For information on the signing, call 297-4843.

JOY TO THE WORLD: Nobody is happier than we that this endless season of good will among men has finally come to a close. But we'd be remiss not to give thanks for our best present of the season, which comes from UA prof Joy Williams. She extols the virtues of our fair burg in the January issue of Esquire magazine, calling Tucson "a city run by developers and real estate agents," and advising folks to pick up a copy of the "cranky" Tucson Weekly. We take pride in our ill-humor around here, and are more pleased than an armpit fart that our irreverent remarks stand to gain a reputation with a national audience. The fact that the blurb appears in the magazine's annual "Dubious Achievements" issue, which we have cheaply imitated for many years, makes it all the more apropos. Hey, Joy, thanks for noticing! Now we can stop cutting off snowbirds in traffic so they'll see our Tucson Weekly bumper stickers. TW

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