NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel, WE NEED NEW NAMES, is the story of Darling, a young Zimbabwean girl living in a shantytown called Paradise. She is feisty ten-year old, an astute observer of her surroundings and the people in her life. Bulawayo structures her novel more like a series of linked stories, written in episodic chapters, told loosely chronologically than in one integrated whole. In fact, the short story “Hitting Budapest,” that became in some form an important chapter in this “novel,” won the prestigious 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing.
In addition to Darling, the stories introduce her gang of close friends. They are vividly and realistically drawn and we can easily imagine them as they roam free in their neighbourhood and also secretly walk into “Budapest,” a near-by district of the well-off…
Once, many years ago when I was living in Northern Michigan, Jim Harrison walked into the restaurant where I was dining. He didnâ€™t so much walk in, in retrospect, as lumber in. It was the Blue Bird Cafe and I confess that Iâ€™d been hanging out there in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him.
David Loogan lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his girlfriend, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Sarah. Loogan edits a mystery magazine, and he has made the mental leap from writing and critiquing stories about crime to tracking down villains in real life. In Harry Dolan’s latest novel, VERY BAD MEN, David tells us a story that will explain “the motives people have for killing one another.” As we will see, the reasons for taking someone’s life can vary from a matter of convenience to a thirst for revenge. Loogan, who is a witty first person narrator, gets embroiled in his latest adventure when someone drops an unsolicited manuscript at his office, in which the anonymous writer confesses to committing murder and even provides the name of his next victim.
Odysseus was a legendary and cunning hero on a journey to find home, and lived by his guile. Annie Oakley was a sharpshooter with an epic aim, living by her wits. Siddhartha traveled on a spiritual quest to find himself, and defined the river by its timelessnessâ€”always changing, always the same. Now, in Bonnie Jo Campbellâ€™s adventure story, we are introduced to sixteen-year-old Margo Crane, gutsy, feisty survivor who manifests a flawed blend of all three heroes, who lives once and inexorably upon a river.
After a wait of 5 years and 2 non-series books, including last yearâ€™s Edgar award winning THE LOCK ARTIST, Steve Hamilton has brought back Alex McKnight in MISERY BAY, the eighth book in this excellent series. While relaxing at the Glasgow Inn in Paradise, Michigan with the owner Jackie Connery and his friend Vinnie â€śRed Skyâ€ť LeBlanc, Alexâ€™s evening is interrupted by a man he didnâ€™t expect to ever see there, Chief Roy Maven, who surprisingly asks for Alexâ€™s help. Chief Maven, the head of the nearby Sault Ste. Marie police force, wants Alex to help his old state trooper partner, Charles â€śRazâ€ť Razniewski, determine why his son Charlie would hang himself in a remote part of Misery Bay, Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula part of Michigan.
Chicago Wall Street Journal bureau chief Gruley has hit on a winning combination for his debut novel â€“ visceral amateur hockey and in-your-face small-town newspapering.
Narrator Gus Carpenter, hockey goalie and editor of the Pilot, isnâ€™t too happy about either role. He had escaped insular Starvation Lake, Michigan, and landed a job at the Detroit News intending never to look back. But the big story that was supposed to win him a Pulitzer earned him a one-way ticket back home in disgrace instead.