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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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Wednesday, March 31,2010

Dealer Profile

Kaleidoscope Books & Collectibles

by Bill Castanier
Jeffrey Pickell of Kaleidoscope Books & Collectibles describes his Ann Arbor store as “eclectic” and he is bringing stock which reflects that description to the Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show. When people come into the bookstore they see “organized chaos&rd...
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Let them eat books?

Literary events bloom in April all over Lansing

by Bill Castanier
The annual Rally of Writers, an all-day workshop, is set for April 10 at Lansing Community College’s west campus. The rally includes programs on everything from writing thrillers to poetry and, according to organizer Linda Peckham, at $70 it is one of the best bargains for aspiring writers in the Midwest.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

Cemetery Symmetry

Death is only the beginning of the story in a Niffenegger novel

by Bill Castanier
Niffenegger and her writing are known for unusual goings on. Take her first book, “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which put an unusual twist on H.G. Welles’ literary trope of time-travel. A young couple, Clare and Henry, meet, fall in love and marry. That’s where the tradition ends and Niffenegger’s imagination begins.
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