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Wednesday, June 2,2010

Out of Africa

Nnedi Okorafor weaves a scary tale of survival

by Bill Castanier
The death of her father pushed Nnedi Okorafor to write “Who Fears Death,” her latest novel.
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Wednesday, May 26,2010

Michigan State’s treasure trove

Special Collections has Batman, Pulitzer winners, antique wallpaper samples

by Bill Castanier
It’s not a plot for a comic book. They make space for each other in the University Library’s Special Collections unit, which has one of the world’s largest collections of comics and can also brag about holding the papers of such literary luminaries as Richard Ford, Robert Coles and Russell Nye.
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Wednesday, May 19,2010

Portrait of the artist as a young man

Photo-filled book details Hemingway's Michigan

by Bill Castanier
Federspiel’s new book “Picturing Hemingway’s Michigan” (Painted Turtle Book) uses more than 250 photographs to tell the story of Hemingway’s youth. Many of the photographs have never been seen before and Federspiel carefully mined the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Clarke Library in Mt.
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Wednesday, May 12,2010

From battlefields to bookstores

Three authors discuss war as a literary topic

by Bill Castanier
“War ' what is it good for?” Edwin Starr may have not gotten an answer to his famous rhetorical lyric of the 1960s, but three writers who have written about war and who have Michigan connections will use their insight to attempt to answer why writers have been fascinated by war since the beginning of time.
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Wednesday, May 5,2010

Tracking down tribal ties

For James McClurken, uncovering history can change present-day laws

by Bill Castanier
Lansing author and ethnohistorian James M. McClurken has spent his entire professional life helping Indian tribes col the the concludes Treaties, not author ethnohistorian entirelect on that debt by researching federal acknowledgment petitions,...
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Wednesday, April 28,2010

Conservation vs. construction

Politics become personal in Dave Dempsey’s novel

by Bill Castanier
His first journey into fiction, however, borrows deeply from his love of the environment and is aptly called “Superior Shores: A Novel of Conservation.
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Wednesday, April 21,2010

Family ties

Brad Leithauser looks back on 1940s Detroit

by Bill Castanier
“There was never any question in my mind that it had to be set in Detroit,” Leithauser said. “I’m considered the family archivist, and I threw in family stories of my father and mother and borrowed a situation from my mother-in-law to recreate my par ents’ lives.
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Wednesday, April 14,2010

'Salvage' success

For Bonnie Jo Campbell, writing about Michigan brought national acclaim

by Bill Castanier
Portage author Bonnie Jo Campbell has been doing the whole “trains and boats and planes” routine since her book “American Salvage” (Wayne State University Press) was named as a finalist last year for the National Book Award.
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Wednesday, April 7,2010

'Summer'of love

Novel speculates on secret romantic life of ’Little Women’ author

by Bill Castanier
In her debut novel, McNees tells the credible but fictional tale of a romancethat might have taken place between Alcott and a young man during the summer of 1855 when the Alcott family moved to the small New Hampshire town of Walpole. At the time, Alcott had already written a book, but “Little Women” was still 13 years away.
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Wednesday, March 31,2010

Taking a walk on the wild side

Poet Thomas Lynch tries his hand at fiction

by Bill Castanier
His newest collection of fiction is a departure from his previous books which were collections of essays and poetry. And, although Lynch is currently working on a longer piece of fiction, he said if he didn’t use poetry as a daily exercise he wouldn’t write.
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