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Monday, July 8, 2013

A little beach reading? (And news about Annie's Ghosts)

Here's a new piece of mine that just appeared in The Washington Post. Added bonus:  In this digital version, no newsprint to recycle!

And here's the (unexpected) news about Annie's Ghosts: The Michigan Humanities Council has selected the book as the 2013-2014 Great Michigan Read, a state-wide "One Community, One Book" program. That means a year-long series of activities and discussions about the book and its themes, starting in September with several kickoff events in the state capital, Lansing. To read about the Great Michigan Read and see a tentative schedule (including the author tour that I'll be doing), click here. A full slate!

Carla Ingrando at the Michigan Humanities Council emailed me with word a few months ago that the nominating panels had chosen Annie Ghosts from among the many deserving titles, and the MHC board had approved. You can't apply for the Great Michigan Read -- which for me, made the honor feel a bit more special.

The MHC staff sees the Great Michigan Read as the opportunity for conversation, and there will be plenty of conversation over the next year:  I'll be making five trips between September and May. Most of the events, though, will go on without me -- at libraries, book clubs, schools, nonprofit organizations, among others.

To help promote discussion about the book's central themes (secrecy and its consequences, personal journeys and immigration, mental disability and poverty, the changing nature of memory and the search for identity), the MHC's energetic staff will create and distribute a reader's guide and teacher's guide to organizations that register as partners.

The Council also promotes the program through inserts in newspapers. Annie's Ghosts already had a big presence in Michigan, where so much of the book takes place, but this is the kind of boost that every author wishes for. The kickoff event on Sept. 24 at the Michigan Historical Center will feature a conversation with Mardi Jo Link, author of a new memoir that is getting great reviews.

I'm looking forward to it, and if you're in the neighborhood, I hope you'll join us.


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