Best Michigan Lit?

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Best Michigan Lit?

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1FelixQuiPotuit
helmikuu 1, 2007, 8:58am

Do you have a favorite book about the Great Lakes State? I'm looking for weekend-reading recommendations - fiction, poetry, history, and the like, but really almost anything except contemporary politics & economics (too grim) and crime writing (ditto).

2lilithcat
helmikuu 1, 2007, 9:02am

Michigan to me always means Anatomy of a Murder, by Robert Traver.

3rampaginglibrarian
helmikuu 3, 2007, 4:05pm

i always liked Braided Lives by Marge Piercy. I picked it up when i was a first year grad student at UM and my roommate had recommended Piercy, i started reading her works and couldn't stop, what i didn't realize was that Braided Lives was set in Detroit and Ann Arbor, i think it is still one of my favorite books.

4barney67
helmikuu 3, 2007, 5:38pm

Some of Hemingway's stories take place in Michigan because he often fished there.

5bluesalamanders
helmikuu 3, 2007, 7:14pm

I can't think of any books off hand, but I could list a few songs...

6barney67
helmikuu 3, 2007, 7:57pm

Russell Kirk was born in Michigan. Some of his ghost stories take place there. Ancestral Shadows.

7kwells
helmikuu 12, 2007, 11:36am

I like The Loon Feather by Iola Fuller. It is set on Mackinac Island during the fur trading days.

8KromesTomes
helmikuu 12, 2007, 1:11pm

Jon. A Jackson has a cop series set in Detroit ... they're pretty good.

9yooperprof
lokakuu 10, 2007, 10:40pm

I think Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is a very good Detroit novel.

10margd
Muokkaaja: lokakuu 11, 2007, 5:10am

I remember Bearwalk as a scary read, It's based on an Indian legend, in which the Upper Peninsula (UP) bears become a little "assertive", shall I say? Might be a bit much if you're spending the weekend in an isolated UP cabin!

Edit: Checked amazon, and it MIGHT be the 1977 book by Lynne Sallot. Amazon has only three used copies of Sallot's book, selling for ~$45 each. The book I read was not widely distributed--I read it in 1980s as a loan from a UP colleague--but it definitely made an impression on me!

11MarianV
lokakuu 11, 2007, 10:50am

Charles Baxter The feast of love Saul & Patsy is a great writer from MI & most of his stuff is set there.
Richard Ford is also from Mi but most of his stuff is set elsewhere with maybe a visit or 2.
Judith Guest is another great. Errands is my favorite, also The tarnished Eye

A mystery that involves Native Americans Laughing Whitefish by Robert Travers.

#7 Kwels The Loon Feather is an all-time favorite historical fiction. I think it takes place around the battle for Detroit between the French, English, American

12compskibook
lokakuu 15, 2007, 6:57pm

How about that detective series that starts with A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton?

13dwsact
lokakuu 15, 2007, 8:54pm

Any or all of the books in the Great Lakes series might suit you. Lake Michigan by Milo Quaife is a particular favorite of mine. I also enjoyed Lake Huron by Fred Landon and Lake Superior by Grace Lee Nute.

14margd
lokakuu 16, 2007, 10:29am

Per #4 (deniro), Hemingway's The Nick Adams Stories is 2007 focus of the Great Michigan Read initiative of the Michigan Humanities Council--a reader's guide is available and various events planned to focus on new, re-ordered, completed stories from author's coming of age in n. Michigan: www.greatmichiganread.org.

15dwsact
lokakuu 16, 2007, 8:40pm

One other fine history is Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State by Willis Frederick Dunbar who was a professor of history at Western Michigan University.

16poulsbolibraryguy
joulukuu 1, 2007, 4:46pm

What about all the Jim Harrison novels? Especially the early ones: Warlock, A Good Day To Die, Wolf, and Legends of the Fall, which, I think, doesn't really have any Michigan stories, but it's still good.

17poulsbolibraryguy
joulukuu 21, 2007, 2:20pm

Okay, it's not the Best Michigan Lit, but I just finished this zombie novel Dying To Live, by Kim Paffenroth, and in the afterword he said it was loosely based on Grand Rapids. I suppose you could do a great zombie novel set in Michigan, with lots of political commentary on the hordes of unemployed...
Anyway, the book was a fun read.

18kathi
Muokkaaja: joulukuu 21, 2007, 5:48pm

Arc of Justice:A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle is a true account of a murder which occurred in 1925 on Garland Avenue in Detroit. Ossian Sweet, a black physician, caused outrage when he moved with his family into a previously all white neighborhood. On a summer evening, an angry crowd gathered outside the house. Shots were fired from within the Sweet home, and Leon Breiner, a Garland resident, was killed. Every adult in the house was arrested and charged with murder. Enter Clarence Darrow for the defense.

This, for me, is a gut-wrenching book. In 1925 my father was 15 years old and living with his sister and parents on Garland Avenue, just a few houses away from the Sweet residence. Dad moved away when he got married, but in 1943,when I was a year old, we moved into my grandparents' house, and so I also spent my childhood living on Garland.

I heard little bits and pieces of the Sweet saga, but it certainly wasn't talked about very much in my family. Everybody (but me) has been deceased for years, and I kick myself for not pursuing the issue when I could. I'm left with so many questions!

Arc of Justice is very well-written. It was a National Book Award winner, and was cited as a New York Times Notable Book, among other honors.

19cheri0627
joulukuu 21, 2007, 6:44pm

20poulsbolibraryguy
joulukuu 21, 2007, 6:59pm

Wow-I'm gonna see if our library has Arc Of Justice, and if not, if we can get it. Thanks for that!
cheri0627, would my 83 year old transplanted mother like that series?

21cheri0627
joulukuu 22, 2007, 1:42am

poulsbolibraryguy, it's been a while, so I'm trying to remember. I think they're basically a light read mystery series, if I remember correctly. I enjoyed them.

They're pretty short books, she could try the first one (Something to Kill For). It's available on amazon used for $.01 (plus shipping)

22poulsbolibraryguy
joulukuu 23, 2007, 5:40pm

I just put the earliest one our library had (Curley Smoke) on hold for her. We'll see how she likes it.

On another subject, I've tried twice to start a new topic-Best Michigan Non-Fiction, and both times nothing has happened (after I wrote the post, of course). Does one need to be a paying member of LibraryThing to be able to add topics? I have no problem with that, of course.
Still, any recommendations for good Michigan Non-fiction? I have Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State by Willis F. Dunbar, but haven't gotten into it yet.

23isis01
heinäkuu 2, 2009, 11:36pm

It is time to post more Michigan-based books...please.

24chukar
Muokkaaja: syyskuu 3, 2009, 4:27pm

I love Wolf, Farmer, and Dalva all by Jim Harrison.

Inspired in part by them, but also by Bloodstoppers and Bearwalkers, I wrote Spring Drive: A North Country Tale, which I hope you'll enjoy.

--Chuck Guilford

25margd
syyskuu 3, 2009, 5:35am

I heard that Life Before her Eyes by (Chelsea resident?) Laura Kasiche is being made into a movie. My recollection is that the book had an impressionistic, shimmering kind of prose. Readable. One plot turn seemed a little improbable to me.

26chukar
Muokkaaja: syyskuu 3, 2009, 4:31pm

I'll second youperprof on Middlesex. It's interesting, provocative, and well written. A strong Michigan feel, but wide-ranging implications. One of the best.

27euphorb
huhtikuu 9, 2010, 8:08pm

A great read is Waiting for the Morning Train by Bruce Catton. It's a memoir of his childhood in his hometime (also mine) -- Beulah and Benzonia in Benzie County. I also recently enjoyed Laughing Whitefish by Robert Traver.

28margd
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 2010, 10:03am

I recently read Dave Dempsey's 2010 offering, Superior Shores: A Novel of Conservation. I've read a couple of his nonfiction books, and, having worked with him on Great Lakes issues, I was curious as to how he would handle a romance between a developer and an environmentalist--and who-wins. The romance kept my attention, but I enjoyed best how he brought into play all the actors one might see in a development decision--developer and environmentalists, "treehuggers" and sportsmen, locals and "city folk", and village council--as well as a full complement of feints and ploys. A fun read.

29jpyvr
huhtikuu 12, 2010, 9:58am

Having grown up in Marquette, I read at an early age Caroll Watson Rankin's Dandelion Cottage. I remember being extremely impressed when my mother pointed out Dandelion Cottage itself, only five or six block from my home. My first brush with fame!

30ArchivistLady
syyskuu 16, 2010, 9:33am

Copper Toed Boots-kid lit from the Flint area. Anything by Christoper Paul Curtis. Don't forget Michigan's most controversial author Michael Moore!

31CD1am
joulukuu 4, 2010, 6:14pm

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Loren D. Estleman. He's got a prrivate eye series featuring Amos Walker that are really good, and his Detroit series, 7 mysteries, one for each decade from prohibition to the 80's. One of my all time favorite books is Jitterbug which take place during WWII.

Another Michigan mystery series is by Paula Gosling featuring Sheriff Matt Gabriel beginning with The Body in Blackwater Bay. There is also a series of chocolate mysteries set in northern Michigan by JoAnna Carl.

32TerriL
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 2011, 10:34am

I would also add Harriette Simpson Arnow to the list. Although she grew up in Kentucky where many of her works are set, she moved to Detroit and later Ann Arbor and used her Michigan experiences in her novels. The Dollmaker relates the experiences of a family from a small farm in Kentucky as they move to a public housing project in Detroit during WWII. It came in second for the National Book Award to William Faulkner's A Fable in 1955.

33laurroop
helmikuu 15, 2011, 6:55pm

If you are a poetry buff, the works of Philip Levine. Some of my favorite books of his include some that really feature Detroit:
One for the Rose, A Walk with Thomas Jefferson, and What Work Is.

34fiberjean
huhtikuu 4, 2011, 8:56am

Richard Bak is a great Michigan author. My husband has many of his books. He has written a very interesting Civil War book, A Distant Thunder.

35klindsey
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 2011, 11:39am

I would add A new home, who'll follow by Caroline Kirkland. It's an interesting and amusing description of her life in pioneer Michigan.