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Ann Arbor's Linda Cotton Jeffries keeps readers in suspense with her new mystery novel, "Seeing in the Quiet"

Wed, 12/01/2021 - 4:00pm by christopherporter

Linda Cotton Jeffries and her book Seeing in the Quiet

Two suspected murders 20 years apart, one of a child and another the death of an old woman. An observant photographer who was a child at the scene of the first murder and documented the second. A killer with a grudge. A kind-hearted detective who is a growing love interest. 

These situations lay the foundation for Seeing in the Quiet, a new mystery novel by Ann Arbor author Linda Cotton Jeffries. At just under 200 pages, the plot-driven book moves quickly while the characters try to unravel what happened at each of the potential murders set in Pittsburgh. 

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Nawaaz Ahmed’s characters in "Radiant Fugitives" grapple with identity amidst slow political progress and fallout from their personal choices 

Tue, 11/30/2021 - 4:00pm by christopherporter

Nawaaz Ahmed and his book Radiant Fugitives

What motivates us? What power do we have over the trajectory of our lives? How can people be so close and so far away from each other at the same time? 

These questions and many others linger as the story of a divided family and the people in their orbit unfolds in Radiant Fugitives. This first novel by Nawaaz Ahmed, a graduate of the University of Michigan’s MFA program, is told by Ishraaq, who is the newborn baby of Seema, a mother estranged from her family for the choices she’s made. Ishraaq serves as a keen, omniscient observer who understands each person’s perspective and how we are all driven by love or fear or both. This unique position of the narrator shows the reader how each person contributes to events and the emotions surrounding them. 

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Author, Screenwriter, and U-M Alum Christopher Cosmos' Debut Novel Covers Characters Caught Up in Greece’s WWII Fight

Tue, 10/26/2021 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

Christopher Cosmos and his book Once We Were Here

Author and U-M alum Christopher Cosmos brings alive the historical and personal drama of the Greek resistance during World War II in his new novel, Once We Were Here. When Greece refuses to surrender to Mussolini’s demand for occupation in 1940, the decision sets off a series of events that irrevocably alter the characters’ lives.

The narrative starts in 2014 in Michigan and is told by a grandfather to his grandson. By looking back in time and telling the story, Papou reveals the family’s resilience, romances, losses, and triumphs during the war. The novel is bookended by scenes at this later date. The grandfather starts the tale with a view of what life is like in Agria, Greece on the Aegean Sea before the war. Two friends Alexandros—Alexei —and Constantinos—Costa—have just turned 18, both born on the same night. Alexei is a fisherman and reflects on how a day on his boat feels: 

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The characters in Erin Hahn’s coming-of-age novel "Never Saw You Coming" grapple with beliefs and trauma in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Thu, 10/21/2021 - 2:00pm by christopherporter

Erin Hahn and her novel Never Saw You Coming

Author photo by Hilary Nichols.

The line between right and wrong is not always clear. Erin Hahn’s new young adult novel, Never Saw You Coming, illustrates the dilemmas that people face when they are told one thing and experience another, leaving them to sort out what they believe. 

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Frosting takes the cake in Ann Arbor blogger Bernice Baran’s new book about sugary delights

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 11:30am by christopherporter

Bernice Baran and her book Frosted

Are you a frosting person or a cake person? 

I’ve heard people say that one or the other is the reason to eat cake. Ann Arbor blogger and baker Bernice Baran answers that question with frosting in her new book, Frosted

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Kim Fairley’s Memoir "Shooting Out the Lights" Tells the Story of Navigating Her First Year of Marriage and an Unwanted Guest

Wed, 10/06/2021 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Kim Fairley and her book Shooting Out the Lights

Ann Arbor artist and writer Kim Fairley recalls the early days of her marriage to Vern Fairley and a visit from an unwelcome guest in her new memoir, Shooting Out the Lights. This fast-moving book focuses on what it was like to start a marriage amidst a big age gap, the aftermath of tragedy, and the contentious circumstances of an unrelated child who comes to stay with the couple. Fairley tells the story with humor and tenderness. 

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Carmen Bugan's essay collection articulates how poetry is an instrument of resistance

Tue, 09/28/2021 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Carmen Bugan and her book "Poetry and the Language of Oppression"

Carmen Bugan wields writing to understand and push back against the oppression and repression that she suffered while growing up in Romania in the 1970s and '80s and observed in her life and research. In her new book, Poetry and the Language of Oppression: Essays on Politics and Poetics, she writes: 

This personal background experience gave me a first-hand knowledge of the power of language—how it can be used as an instrument of oppression and how it can be used as an instrument of resistance. That knowledge has shaped my voice as a writer.

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Erin A. Craig’s "Small Favors" conjures dark forces in a reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin 

Thu, 09/23/2021 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Erin A. Craig and her book Small Favors

Photo by Cyndi Whipkey

The cover of YA author Erin A. Craig’s new novel, Small Favors, looks deceptively bright with flowers, bees, and honey dripping off of the letters in the title. Yet what sounds too good to be true just might be, as character Ellerie Downing learns in this reimagining of the fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin.

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U-M Professor David Potter looks at history and politics to understand radical change in his new book, "Disruption"

Wed, 09/08/2021 - 10:30am by christopherporter

David Potter and his book Disruption

“How do things change?” asks David Potter, a University of Michigan professor, in his new book, Disruption

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U-M Lecturer Philip D’Anieri's Book Maps the Appalachian Trail Through the Stories of Its Developers

Mon, 07/26/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Philip D’Anieri and his book The Appalachian Trail: A Biography.

Author photo by Alicia Farmer

The 2,000+-mile Appalachian Trail spans the eastern United States from Georgia to Maine, traversing 14 states in total. The trail looms large in the consciousness of many people, from sightseers to thru-hikers. But how did such a major trail get created?