Michigan's Famous and Forgotten Authors
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Many thanks to the following people for their generous assistance in securing photos, and for helping us understand part of the story of the authors we . . .
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As far back as I can remember, books owned me. By the time I was five, I was regularly accompanying my family to a Dearborn library, checking out the maximum number of books—which I remember as four. I returned them . . .
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On a late Midwestern winter’s day, two brothers exchanged electronic thoughts. One, a writer with unbridled passion for his home state, emailed the other, an avid reader fiercely proud of all things Michigan, seeking input . . .
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Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village in Dearborn harbors the auto titan’s boyhood home, Thomas Edison’s multi-invention laboratory, the Wright Brothers’ flight headquarters, George Washington Carver’s childhood . . .
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Neither Robert Frost nor Arthur Miller was born in Michigan. Neither lived here long, and neither died or was buried here. Jane Kenyon was born in Michigan; she lived here through college until marriage drew her . . .
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Detroit is grit. Detroit is a fast-coursing river that never slows below its surface. Detroit is a vacant building once graced by Tiffany ceilings and Pewabic tiles. Detroit is an arena’s throaty roar of thousands of unified . . .
Central/South Central Michigan
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Contemporary song lyric? Not even close, though the notion certainly fits with today’s cultural trends. It is, rather, a stanza from one of the most renowned works by Michigan’s first lyricist and poet laureate, a writer . . .
Champion of God’s Country
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He did his best work in a castle, hurling down thunderbolts of prose. The fact that James Oliver Curwood was a son of, and died in Owosso, Michigan, made him no less a man of international renown. His fiction . . .
Children Don’t Forget
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In 1889 Lapeer, Michigan, was not much different from many other small Midwestern towns. But the combination of a family’s nurturing and a girl’s temperament and budding talent fostered one of America’s most successful . . .
Beyond Four Corners
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Unlike the devil, the glacier that scoured out the Great Lakes didn’t first go down to Georgia, only to Tennessee. This massive mountain of frozen water once buried Michigan and, returning homeward after a . . .
The Purity of Despair
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When tragedies darken early childhood, they often shape a lasting prelingual worldview of life as frighteningly unsafe. But it can be just as painful to suffer enormous losses in later childhood and adolescence, when . . .
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A writer’s first and last volumes are literally bookends. In the case of Michigan’s Maritta Wolff, those works are also the towers of a career bridge spanning seventy-four years. Coming out of nowhere to author . . .
A Bountiful Life
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Descended from a Revolutionary War veteran, Liberty Hyde Bailey was given his father’s name as a political statement on the eve of the American Civil War. Rooted in the freedom-loving soil of West Michigan, that name . . .
Life Is More Than a Game
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If what used to be known as the national pastime had a poet laureate, his name was Ring Lardner. The first prominent writer to capture the singular language of the baseball world and its diamond-in-the-rough characters, . . .
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Like legions of Chicagoans throughout the twentieth century, during the summer of 1926 a middle-aged married couple journeyed south around the bottom of Lake Michigan to rent a cottage. They found the right location . . .
Northern Lower Michigan
America’s Civil War Storyteller
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“The Civil War is, for the American imagination, the great single event of our history.” So wrote Pulitzer Prize–winner Robert Penn Warren. For generation after generation of Civil War readers, Michigan’s Bruce Catton is . . .
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Michigan has long been a boom state. Lumber, copper, autos, and more have powered its economy, then sputtered or died. Times have been the worst, and they have been the best, and they have been the worst again. . . .
Songs for the Underdog
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The country around Elk Rapids, Michigan, lends itself to tourism and to agriculture. Inland there are forests and small lakes. Closer to the coast, rises formed by glaciers supply panoramic views of Lake Michigan, which . . .
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Sometimes they do. Especially when societal conventions limit a writer’s world. Caroline Clement Watson—affectionately known as “Carrie”—was born in Marquette, Michigan, the youngest of ten children, during the . . .
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“I didn’t like cities. I hate to even see them,” growled John Donaldson Voelker in a 1990 interview. “I think they are uninhabitable.” Urban areas are scarce in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Mostly rural, its largest city is Marquette, with some 20,000 inhabitants. Voelker was .. .
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Publication Year: 2012