AMERICAN SALVAGE by Bonnie Jo Campbell

The story of the slow collapse of Michigan’s economy is well known by now. Built around the automotive industry and a core base of manufacturing, the economy started a slow decline as those manufacturing jobs moved out of state. The state now has an astounding unemployment rate of 14.8%.

The characters in AMERICAN SALVAGE, a memorable set of short stories nominated for the National Book Award this year, are all victims of the state’s slow decline. The author Bonnie Jo Campbell narrates stories in which some of the characters have taken to meth or alcohol while still others cling on to jobs that don’t pay much.

December 4, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, National Book Award Finalist, Reading Guide, Short Stories, US Midwest, y Award Winning Author

REAL LIFE & LIARS by Kristina Riggle

In REAL LIFE & LIARS, protagonist Mira Zielinski represents a new demographic for our times: hippie turned senior, at age sixty-five still free-spirited and defiant, who has decided to refuse treatment for her recently diagnosed breast cancer. She’s also decided to withhold the diagnosis from her three grown children, as they converge on the family home for a grand 35th anniversary party. As it turns out, however, the Zielinski children are bringing home a few secrets of their own.

October 19, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, End-of-Life, Family Matters, Reading Guide, US Midwest