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Wednesday, June 16,2010

Educating Uganda

Author chronicles building schools in his homeland

by Bill Castanier
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri’s book was already brewing about the same time Craig Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea” went to the top of The New York Times Best Sellers list; with a little luck, panache and old-fashioned pluck, the Okemos author may also climb to the top of that list.
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Wednesday, June 9,2010

Those who do not remember Santayana may still be condemned to repeat him

An almost-forgotten philosopher left behind many familiar sayings

by Bill Castanier
James Seaton, an East Lansing resident and Michigan State University professor of American criticism and culture, has edited a new book on Santayana and his work.
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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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