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Australian novelist Elizabeth Jolley has died

Australian novelist, Elizabeth Jolley, has diedAustralian novelist, Elizabeth Jolley, has died

Elizabeth Jolley, novelist, poet, and playwright, died February 13, 2007 in Australia.

Born in England in 1923, Ms. Jolley migrated with her family to Australia in 1959. Seventeen years later, Ms. Jolley’s first collection of short stories, Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories was published, grabbing Australia’s literary world by the lapels and shaking them up with her bold treatment of sexuality and lesbianism.

Ms. Jolley captured international attention with such novels as Mr. Scobie’s Riddle and Miss Peabody’s Inheritance, which the New York Times Book Review suggested should be read “in tandem”.

Ms. Jolley was 83.

Paperback and Hardbound Fiction Interfiled at the Downtown Library

You can now find all your favorite Mystery, Sci-Fi, or Fantasy authors all in one place at the Downtown Library. The formally all paperback section is now interfiled with the hardbound books. Romance and Western books are now interfiled in the general fiction area and can be identified by a label on the book spine. We hope you enjoy the ease of browsing these collections.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #52

Did you see the review in the New York Times? Apparently many of you did, judging from the hold list. But if you did not, don’t let this one slip by.

Still Life with Husband by first-time novelist Lauren Fox.

It’s a familiar dilemma - Girl (Emily, 30, freelance writer, likes cake for breakfast) meets boy (Kevin, sweet, stable, with a passion for small appliances). Girl marries boy (and live in Milwaukee). Then girl meets dark, handsome and sexy stranger at Starbucks (Oops! 9 years too late). Girl gives in to the itch (rather too easily) and suffers the guilt.

Sure. It has been done before, a la Tom Perrotta in Little Children (2004) and Lolly Winston in Happiness Sold Separately (2006). Nevertheless, “In this generous, heartfelt, and often hilarious novel of marriage and friendship, Lauren Fox explores the baffling human heart and the dangers of getting what you wish for”. Worth a look.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts # 51

Fans of international spy thriller and historical mystery are no strangers to Boris Akunin’s popular Petrovich Fandorin series. Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog* is the first in a projected trilogy in which Akunin introduces to mystery lovers an even more memorable sleuth.

Set in 19th century, Sister Pelagia, a young nun in a remote Russian province is called on by her bishop to investigate the poisoning of a white bulldog whose noble mistress, Sister Pelgagia suspects, is to be the intended victim.
This highly unusual historical mystery is remarkable for its charm and its humorous narrative voice. Not to be missed!

From Hell with Hate

Have you ever wondered what the denzines of Hell have to say about us? Here's your chance to find out. The Screwtape Letters is a collection of letters between Screwtape, an Under Secretary in the Lowerarchy, and his subordinate 'nephew' Wormwood, a junior Tempter. In the letters, Screwtape gives Wormwood advice on how to tempte his patient away from his Christian beliefs and to turn him to the "Father below". Fortunately for us, the letters were intercepted and compiled by C. S. Lewis who published the original version in The Guardian and then in book form.

Women’s History Essay Contest

Don’t Waste Our Times Productions and the Adelia Cheever Program are sponsoring a Women’s History essay contest with cash prizes for the top essay writers in the following categories: Youth (grades 6-8); Young Adult (grades 9-12); and Adult (18 and up). Essays should be postmarked by Friday, March 9th, 2007.

Name a woman, not known to you personally (e.g. not a relative), whom you believe should be remembered for Women’s History Month. Explain your choice.

Include on the first page:
Entrant’s name
Age/Year in school
Phone number or email address
Number of Pages
School affiliation (if any)

Include last name and page number on subsequent pages

Send entries via email to or snail mail to DWOT Productions, PO Box 4315, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. DWOT & Cheever may reprint all or part of entered essays. Call (734) 763-6301 or email with questions. Visit us at

Paul Farmer Lecture Online

The February 12 lecture by Paul Farmer, MD, Founding Director of Partners In Health and the subject of Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, may now be viewed on the website of the University of Michigan William Davidson Institute.

Dr. Farmer is one of the world’s foremost medical anthropologists and physicians and has been working in Rwanda for nearly two years. His lecture was entitled “Building a Health Care Movement: From Haiti to Rwanda.”

The website also includes a one-on-one interview with Dr. Farmer

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss SunshineLittle Miss Sunshine

Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, and writer Michael Arndt appeared on Fresh Air on February 5th, 2007 to discuss their filmLittle Miss Sunshine.

I really enjoyed this bittersweet film which could be an Oscar winner this month. Nominated for 4 Oscars, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and biggest of all Best Motion Picture of the Year. I think it’s down to this film or The Queen for best picture award.

The Library has in addition to its regular collection of copies of this film a number of copies of the movie that are rented by the week for only $1.00 on a first come basis. Each branch Library has a rental collection of extremely popular books and DVD's known as Zoom Lends.

It's an enjoyable film, serious yet quite funny at times. Although the movie is about a little girl’s quest to win a beauty contest the movie is rated R and not appropriate for children.

For once -- an intelligent take on Valentines

Linguist and author Geoffrey Nunberg brightened the airwaves on Valentines Day with an NPR radio commentary about changes in personal communication. Amid way too much Feb. 14 schmaltz, what fun to hear this guy talk about the history of Valentines, including that many now arrive by telephone or e-mail – but some still arrive by old-fashioned snail mail. Listening to him made me want to read his new book Talking Right: How conservatives turned liberalism into a tax-raising, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (2/11/07)

Jim Harrison is the cover story this week. This Michigan author's latest critically acclaimed novel, Returning to Earth, celebrates his lusty appetite for life.

At #4 is White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz: "Two members of the Arcane Society, dedicated to paranormal research, investigate a series of murders and foil a plot to take over the society."

At #5 is The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer: " An imagined life of the young Adolf Hitler."

At #15 is Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell: "In this third volume of the Saxon Tales, set in the late ninth century, a Saxon warrior is betrayed by a Danish ally and joins forces with King Alfred."

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