“My grandfather came to America hell-bent on becoming an American.” --Alexandra Zapruder
[https://alexandrazapruder.com|Alexandra Zapruder]’s [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1501830|Twenty-Six Seconds] tells the story of the 26-second home video, recorded by her grandfather Abraham, that came to be known as the Zapruder film, the one video that showed President Kennedy’s assassination. On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Zapruder spoke at the Ann Arbor District Library about her book to an audience of about 80.
[https://www.facebook.com/Alexandra-Zapruder-241030009427770|Zapruder] never thought that she would write this book. She grew up in Washington, D.C., in a family that rarely talked about the film. She said that she is often asked whether the film was taboo or somehow a secret in her household. “It wasn’t that,” she said.
"Publishing is a business," writes mega-selling author Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) in the "[http://nicholassparks.com/for-writers/the-business-introduction|Advice for Writers]" section of his website. "Writing may be art, but publishing, when all is said and done, comes down to dollars."
Except with [http://www.aadl.org/fifthavenuepress|Fifth Avenue Press], the new publishing imprint of the Ann Arbor District Library.
Fifth Avenue helps local authors produce a print-ready book at no cost -- from copyediting to cover design -- and the writers retain all rights. In return, the library gets to distribute ebooks to its patrons without paying royalties, but authors can sell their books -- print, digital, or audio -- however they choose and keep all the proceeds.
Fifth Avenue launches on [http://www.aadl.org/node/364146|Sunday, Nov. 5, with a reception from 1-3 pm] on the 3rd floor of AADL's downtown branch, featuring author readings from the imprint's first nine titles:
Hillary Clinton evokes feelings.
I hadn’t fully understood the extent of this until I poked around online to get myself in the mood to attend her Oct. 25 talk at Hill Auditorium about her newest book, What Happened. I made the mistake of searching #hillaryclinton on Twitter. I almost injured my jaw as my mouth hung open while I glanced at the results.
Yeah, Hillary Clinton makes people feel things.
Reading a long list of sponsors doesn’t usually prompt a standing ovation; but because celebrated New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow couldn’t hear, while backstage at Rackham Auditorium on Friday evening, what was being said while waiting to make his entrance, he gamely emerged before his official introduction had even gotten underway.
Not that the adoring, full-capacity crowd minded the miscue in the least. Presenting the keynote speech of a Humility in the Age of Self-Promotion Colloquium at U-M, Blow spoke for 40 minutes on the topic of Trump, arrogance, and democracy, and answered audience questions for an additional half hour.
One article about the popular, fiercely beloved [http://www.welcometonightvale.com|Welcome to Night Vale] podcast begins with the line, “Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of” the show.
But until I’d received a copy of the novel [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1516068|It Devours!] written by the podcast's creators, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and researched Night Vale in preparation for a recent phone interview with Cranor, I’d been one such under-the-rock dweller.
Yet because the podcast could be described as the David Lynch version of A Prairie Home Companion -- focusing on a fictional desert town in the American Southwest, where all conspiracy theories are true -- I asked Cranor if any of Night Vale’s residents also live under rocks.
“No, but one of the characters is a rock -- the dean of the Night Vale Community College, Sarah Sultan,” said Cranor without missing a beat, referring to a character who communicates via telepathy.
Well, then. At least I might have some company.
Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor will be with artist and illustrator Jessica Hayworth at U-M's Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre on October 23 at 7 pm, [http://www.literatibookstore.com/event/literati-bookstore-presents-jose…|courtesy of Literati Bookstore]. The three will be interviewed by Detroit writer, actor, comedienne, and The Moth Storyslam Ann Arbor host Satori Shakoor, followed by an audience Q&A and signing.
Cranor answered questions for Pulp about Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours!.
[http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/author/Wilde%252C%2BOscar%252C%2B185…|Oscar Wilde] said the truth is rarely pure and never simple. These words apply to many facets of his life, including the feud between Wilde’s lovers Lord Alfred Douglas and Robert Ross. [https://www.lauraleeauthor.com|Laura Lee] set out to find the truth of what happened between these men after Wilde’s death in her new book, [https://www.lauraleeauthor.com/oscar-s-ghost|Oscar’s Ghost: The Battle for Oscar Wilde’s Legacy], which [http://www.aadl.org/node/365701|she'll discuss] at AADL's downtown branch on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Douglas and Ross each blamed the other for Wilde's downfall and early death as well the way the latter handled Wilde’s prison manuscript, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Profundis_(letter)|De Profundis]. Their feud escalated to include stalking, blackmail, witness tampering, prison, and lawsuits.
“When I first got a Kindle, I downloaded and read (Wilde’s) De Profundis," Lee says. "I discovered that this was actually an edited version of the book and that a longer version existed.”
Michigan native Jeffrey Eugenides told the crowd at the Michigan Union's Rogel Ballroom on Sunday that he never set out to be a regionalist. His three novels, [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1078796|The Virgin Suicides], [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1194020|Middlesex], and [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1389845|The Marriage Plot], all revolve around characters from Detroit in their youth. Eugenides said that his time growing up in Detroit still makes up some of his most vivid memories, and that writing about something so innate to himself just “makes my job easier.”
Eugenides was joined by Claire Vaye Watkins, author of [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1476483|Gold Fame Citrus], to discuss his recently published first book of short stories, [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1512351|Fresh Complaint]. The collection contains 10 stories, including two that relate to his previous novels. One is an outtake from Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex and another, “Airmail,” is made up of letters written by Mitchell, the main character in The Marriage Plot.
On Monday, Oct. 7, author and University of Michigan professor [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/author/Tiya%20Miles|Tiya Miles] visited Literati Bookstore to discuss her new book, [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1517167|The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits]. This book is an examination of Detroit’s early days and seeks to discuss an element of the city’s history that isn’t often discussed. Miles’ work aims to locate people of color in Detroit’s history, adding them to a narrative that is often told chiefly as the stories of European settlers.
When you put the wrong date in your calendar for an interview with Jen Mann, the blogger/author behind [http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com|People I Want to Punch in the Throat], you kind of fear that you’ll be added to the list.
But Mann -- who will be coming to the downtown library for a [http://www.aadl.org/node/362580|moms’ night out event] on Wednesday, October 11 at 7 pm, as part of a book tour to promote her latest humorous essay collection, Working with People I Want to Punch in the Throat -- couldn’t have been more understanding, despite her famously feisty, tell-it-like-it-is persona.
[http://billmckibben.com|Bill McKibben] has long been sounding the alarm about our changing climate.
The renowned environmentalist and author (including the landmark The End of Nature) founded [http://www.350.org|350.org], a worldwide organization dedicated to climate-change issues. He will speak at Hill Auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 5, on the topic “[https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-wege-lecture-on-sustainability-with-b…|Down to the Wire: A Hot Fight in a Hot World].”
If it seems like the fight has gotten more difficult lately, given the current federal administration’s refusal to even acknowledge the problem, McKibben isn’t about to give up. He says it’s still possible to take significant action.