Author Tom Nanzig Discusses How To Use Archival & Historical Material To Write And Publish A Book

NanzigNanzigSunday March 20, 2011: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Ever wanted to publish a book based on historical documentation that you are passionate about sharing? Author Tom Nanzig gives an inside look at finding and researching publishable material in an archival setting. He'll give advice about how to edit the material, find a publisher and produce the final polished product. Tom is the author of "The Civil War Memoirs Of A Virginia Cavalryman." Learn how he used wartime letters and archives that guided him in the writing of this book.

This event is co-sponsored by the Washtenaw County Historical Society.

Author Birthdays: Sackville-West, Spillane, Tharoor

March 9th marks the birthday of authors Vita Sackville-West, Mickey Spillane, and Shashi Tharoor.

Vita Sackville-West was an English writer and aristocrat who won the British Hawthornden Prize twice. Born to a Baron, she had lived in the famous Sissinghurst Castle during her lifetime. Among her most well-known books are The Edwardians, which is about two aristocratic siblings in the early 20th century, and All Passion Spent, about an octogenarian woman who spurns the Victorian ideals.

Sackville-West, a bisexual, was lovers with fellow authors Violet Trefusis and Virginia Woolf; some of her letters to Woolf have been compiled into a book, and a book on Trefusis also contains correspondence between lovers.

Mickey Spillane was an American crime novelist, best known for his detective character Mike Hammer. Spillane was also into film; his novel Kiss Me Deadly was made into a movie, and the author himself actually played a detective in Ring of Fear.

Spillane's work in the hardboiled fiction genre is a bit different than many others. A writer for the Washington Post said in 2001 that "Spillane never really wrote sex scenes; he wrote about sexuality in a way that was unapologetically sensual and often seemed more provocative than the act itself". A good example is his first novel, I, the Jury.

Shashi Tharoor is an Indian writer and advocate, as well as a member of Indian Parliament and former Under-Secretary General of the UN. He has written both fiction and non-fiction, and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in 1991. His novels include the award-winning The Great Indian Novel, and Show Business, called by Booklist "an animated and deliciously satirical critique of the Bombay film industry".

Among Tharoor's non-fiction works are The Elephant, The Tiger, And The Cell Phone: Reflections On India, The Emerging 21st-century Power, which discusses India's highs and lows, and Bookless In Baghdad: Reflections On Writing And Writers, a collection of essays which Library Journal described as resonating "with readers of any nationality, helping them understand the global purpose of literature, feel the inherent responsibility, and hear a call to action".

Author Birthdays: Aleichem, Seuss, Goodis

March 2nd marks the birthday of authors Sholem Aleichem, Dr. Seuss, and David Goodis.

Sholem Aleichem was a Yiddish writer from the Ukraine, and while you may not immediately recognize his work Tevye the Dairyman, you probably recognize its musical counterpart The Fiddler on the Roof.

Aleichem also wrote the novel Wandering Stars, a tale of the Yiddish theater, and his autobiography From the Fair, which CHOICE said "told in the third person, reveals a very rich picture of Jewish shtetl existence".

I feel no need to introduce such a person as Dr. Seuss. His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, and his Oh, The Places You'll Go! has probably been quoted at 2/3 of graduations since its publication. Though, my personal favorite has always been Hop on Pop.

Seuss's works have been translated into many languages; here at AADL we have his books in five aside from English--Spanish, Chinese, French, Russian, and Hebrew.

David Goodis was an American writer of noir, a sub-genre of hardboiled crime fiction. Many of his novels were made into noir movies as well, like Dark Passage and Shoot The Piano Player.

Goodis was not necessarily well liked. In one book, Geoffrey O'Brien called him "a poet of the losers. ... If Jack Kerouac had written crime novels, they might have sounded a bit like this".

Author Birthdays: Shirer, Cornwell, Sandford

February 23rd marks the birthday of authors William L. Shirer, Bernard Cornwell, and John Sandford.

William L. Shirer was an American writer of mostly non-fiction history books. Much of his works focus on Nazi Germany, which isn't surprising, considering he was a WWII journalist who actually reported from Berlin. Part of his book 20th Century Journey called "The Nightmare Years", about his time in Germany, was made into a TV movie with Law & Order star Sam Waterston playing the journalist.

Shirer's "This is Berlin" is a collection of his radio broadcasts from said city. As noted by Library Journal, it gives "the reader a sense of the drama and tension of 'history as it happens'". He also wrote a diary of the days leading up to the war.

Bernard Cornwell is an English historical novelist, best known for his novels centered on character Richard Sharpe, which take place during the Napoleonic Wars. They were also adapted into a television series.

Cornwell has also written stories in the times of Saxon and Arthurian Britain, and the American Civil War. His latest, The Fort, published last year, is a tale of the Revolutionary War, more specifically, of the Penobscot Expedition.

John Sandford (born John Camp) is an American journalist and novelist, probably best known for his Prey series, featuring the character Lucas Davenport. His newest novel, Buried Prey, is in this series and comes out in May.

Sandford's other works include the novel Dead Watch, which has been called "full of suspense, political intrigue, and violence" by Library Journal; you can also see some of his journalistic exploits on his website.

Author Birthdays: Bernhard, Coetzee, Walker

February 9th marks the birthday of authors Thomas Bernhard, J. M. Coetzee, and Alice Walker.

Thomas Bernhard was an Austrian writer of novels and plays. While we have many of his works in English, according to the man himself, they can't be the same as his original, German novels. Bernhard believed that "translation is impossible".

Among Bernhard's books are Wittgenstein's Nephew, which has been called "a vehicle for Bernhard's captivating prose, his bitter pessimism and anger and his clever, if sarcastic wit"; The Voice Imitator, a collection of 104 short stories; and The Loser, a story of three piano virtuosos, written in first-person monologues.

J. M. Coetzee is a South African-American-Australian writer, and winner of the Booker Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature, among other awards. His novels Life & Times of Michael K and Disgrace are among the books that have won.

Coetzee, a vegetarian, writes about subject like animal cruelty and welfare, in novels like Disgrace and Elizabeth Costello. He has also written a few "fictionalized" autobiographies, including Youth, which focuses on the few years he spent in London after fleeing South Africa.

Alice Walker is an American writer of novels and poetry, and is widely known for her work The Color Purple, which won the Pulitzer Prize and has been made into a film and Broadway musical. She was also the first African-American woman to win the National Book Award, also for The Color Purple.

Walker has also written Possessing The Secret Of Joy, which Booklist says depicts female circumcision "as mutilation of not only the body but the psyche", the multi-historical fiction novel The Temple Of My Familiar, and perhaps the poetry collection with one of the greatest titles I've ever seen, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.

Learning to Die in Miami

Back in 2002, Carlos Eire won the National Book Award for Waiting for Snow in Havana, his memoir of boyhood in 1950s Cuba. The story ended with Eire on a plane to the United States; he was one of 14,000 unaccompanied refugee children in 1962’s Operation Pedro Pan. His latest book continues his story, beginning with his arrival in Florida.

“Having just died, I shouldn’t be starting my afterlife with a chicken sandwich, no matter what, especially one served up by nuns.” And so begins Eire's memoir, Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy. Eire recounts his journey through the American foster care system, an orphanage, and a belated reunion with his mother, with honesty -- both humorous and heart wrenching. The collision of his Cuban self with his new American identity is both a grim tale of death and a cautious account of rebirth. This fascinating story will make you laugh, weep, and wave your fist in anger. When you finish Eire’s story, don’t be surprised to find yourself poking around through Cuban history books as well, reading about Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro and the course of events that led a nation to send their children away.

The Australian Open

aussieopenaussieopen

Roger Federer's five set thriller versus Frenchman Gilles Simon in Round 2 of the Australian Open this morning has this tennis fan stoked for the action this coming fortnight, where Rafael Nadal goes for the Rafa Slam, Federer attempts to regain #1 in the world, and Djokovic looks to avenge last year's U.S. Open Finals loss. On the women's side, Venus Williams carries the American hopes, while veterans Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin are the favorites.

Nearly as hot as the serves that could reach 241.4 kmph (150 mph) are the temperatures that could touch 32.2 Celsius (90 F) this Melbourne summer, so if the ice and snow around here have you feeling blue, check out a fiery match from down under.

The AADL has several recent tennis biographies in its collection, including Andre Agassi's bestseller, Open, James Blake's triumph of the underdog, Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life, and John McEnroe's behind the scenes, Hardcourt Confidential.

Author Birthdays: Franklin, Asimov, Michaels

January 2nd marks the birthday of authors John Hope Franklin, Isaac Asimov, and Leonard Michaels.

John Hope Franklin was an American historian who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His best known work is From Slavery to Freedom, which is often regarded as the definitive history of African-Americans, outlines African origins, slavery, and the fight for freedom.

Franklin's other works include Runaway Slaves: Rebels On The Plantation, a book about the resistance and escape of African-American slaves, and an autobiography which Library Journal described as "worth knowing and understanding because at its heart it is a particularly American story about the challenges of being black in this country, about personal triumphs, and about his feeling of urgency regarding the promises America has yet to realize."

Isaac Asimov is best known as a Russian-American science-fiction writer. Among his books, he is probably most widely recognized for his series, especially the Foundation series, which actually includes dozens of stories, one of them being the basis for the film I, Robot.

Asimov's many, many--and I mean many--other works include the two award-winners The Gods Themselves and The Bicentennial Man. There is also Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, which first came out in 1977, named for Asimov because of his huge standing in the science-fiction genre.

Leonard Michaels was an American writer of short stories, novels, and essays, who graduated with his Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. One of his novels, Sylvia, is based upon his first wife, who committed suicide.

Michaels also wrote some autobiographical fiction collected in the book Shuffle. Publishers Weekly discusses it as "Created in fragments of journal entries, short stories and memoir-like confessions, a matrix of past and present formations is slowly brought into focus; thus, a life."

Great Reminiscences

The Library has just the thing to generate lively conversations at your next group or family gathering. Bi-Folkal Kits come in an attractive navy and yellow bag and provide a multi-media approach to a variety of topics for reminiscence, such as pets, the seasons, school days, African American lives, and fashion. Besides a full slide show on DVD, each kit contains twenty-five large print songbooks with a sing-along CD, a true crowd-pleaser! An instruction manual is also included to lead you through the many suggested activities, for the different interests and capabilities of participants. With a little planning, it offers a fun atmosphere for older adults, inter-generational groups, or people with dementia. The kits may be borrowed for two weeks.

Author Birthdays: Miller, Toomer, Sedaris

December 26th marks the birthday of authors Henry Miller, Jean Toomer, and David Sedaris.

Henry Miller was an American writer whose book Tropic of Cancer was tried as "obscene" in the U.S. Supreme Court; the book was found to be a work of literature, and was then published.

Almost all of Miller's works are at least semi-autobiographical. Among such "fictional" novels are the three books of the series The Rosy Crucifixion: Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus. The first discusses his divorce and remarriage, the second describes his second marriage and struggle to find himself, and the third focuses on his problems with his second wife and her lover.

Jean Toomer was an American writer and figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and grandson of the first African-American governor of a U.S. state. His novel Cane, a short story cycle, describes the origins of African-Americans in the United States; the most well-known of the stories within the novel is called "Harvest Song".

While he is most well known for Cane, Toomer also wrote many essays on race relations, as well as literary criticisms of other authors--many of these are collected in one volume.

David Sedaris is an American writer and humorist, and brother to actress and fellow author Amy Sedaris, with whom he has written plays under the name "The Talent Family".

Sedaris mostly writes short, autobiographical stories, almost always funny. My personal favorite is Me Talk Pretty One Day, which discusses very important and serious subjects like menu options and mistaken identity. His latest, however, called Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, is animal-related, and looks to be pretty hilarious itself.

Syndicate content