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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Stepping outside the 'Law' — in the name of literature

When she wasn't working at 'the best legal job in America,' Allison Leotta was writing a sexy thriller

by Bill Castanier
Leotta credits much of her success to her time at MSU, where she majored in international studies in James Madison College. “It was exactly the right place at the right time. At James Madison, there was a sense of community.”.
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Wednesday, January 26,2011

The life of the ’Party’

Michael Patrick Shiels has built a career on playing pranks and taking chances

by Bill Castanier
Shiels showed up at the radio station on a cold January day with breakfast for Purtan ' and not just any breakfast, but a frozen microwaveable breakfast. He placed the frozen contents on a paper plate and put it in a white paper bag, the kind you get from take-out joints.
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Wednesday, January 19,2011

Working class wordsmiths

Book salutes literature of laboring people

by Bill Castanier
M. L. Liebler says he has a lot of friends. Liebler, who has taught English, labor studies and the art of the working class at Wayne State University for more than 30 years, was not shy in calling upon some of those old acquaintances when he was looking for contributions to “Working Words:...
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Wednesday, January 12,2011

Off to the races

A National Book Award finally puts Gordon in the winner’s circle

by Bill Castanier
Racing slang comes naturally after reading Jaimy Gordon’s extraordinary National Book Award-winning novel “Lord of Misrule,” about a down-on-its-luck racetrack and its denizens. When the award was announced Nov. 17 most writers referred to “Misrule” as a longshot or a dark horse that had no chance at the Winner’s Circle.
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Wednesday, January 5,2011

Closing the book on 2010

’Rich Boy,’ ’Just Kids’ among the year’s finest literary works

by Bill Castanier
Pomerantz, who teaches writing at the University of Michigan, comes to Ann Arbor by the way of Philadelphia and New York and drops her no-holds-barred character in search of the American dream into the Big Apple of the free-wheeling ’60s, ’70s and...
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

Politically 'Pointed'

Lansing author uses poems to explain conservative values

by Bill Castanier
Whether he knows it or not he’s just started his 11th business by self-publishing his collection of poetry, “Pointed Poems: Tools for Teaching Conservative Thinking.” The book is illustrated by noted local artist Dennis Preston, printed by Thomson Shore of Dexter and distributed by Partners of Holt.
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Wednesday, December 15,2010

Michigan masters

Notable Books list honors the state's best

by Bill Castanier
The Library of Michigan’s annual awards (which were announced Monday) honored Jaimy Gordon’s “Lord of Misrule,” the 2010 National Book Award Winner; National Book Award finalist Thomas Lynch (“Apparitions & Late Fiction”); and two Pulitzer Prizewinning writers, Bryan Gruley (“The Hanging Tree”) and Philip Levine (“Detroit Disassembled”).
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Wednesday, December 8,2010

Packing up the past

Lev Raphael boxes up his archives for delivery to MSU’s library

by Bill Castanier
Raphael has had a long and varied career in writing, publishing his first story inRedbook Magazine in 1979. He is especially recognized for his writing, both fiction and non-fiction, from the perspective of the son of Holocaust survivors and he is widely sought as a speaker on the issue.
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Wednesday, December 1,2010

Keep on truckin'

'Ice Road' star slides into the book world

by Bill Castanier
Alex Debogorski, author of “King of the Road” and star of the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers,” hopes to ward off an icy reception while promoting his new book.Debogorski and his crew are on a nationwide tour with his ice rig. They’ll stop off at the Okemos Schuler Books & Music Saturday. Debogorski’s ice truck will be parked at Meridian Mall for the signing. It’s a 93-foot -long tractor trailer, weighing in at 70,000 pounds — and it will be stuffed with give-away goodies.
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Wednesday, November 17,2010

Football feasts

Haven House rolls out a second cookbook for sporty Spartan chefs

by Bill Castanier
If the new “Tailgating on the Banks of the Red Cedar, Vol. 2” cookbook is any indication, tailgates have come a long way.
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