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According to McClelland, nasality is the hallmark of Midwestern speech.
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

One of the core elements of  your identity is your accent. 

But we here in the Midwest have a tendency to believe we don't have an accent. 

Writer Edward McClelland proves otherwise in his new book How to Speak Midwestern

McClelland sat down with us today to talk about what makes the Midwestern accent so distinct.

Courtesy Jeff Mermelstein

In 2002, Jonathan Safran Foer made his literary debut with the novel “Everything is Illuminated,” which quickly became a bestseller. His next novel, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” was also widely praised. Both books were made into Hollywood films. His new novel “Here I Am,” is a study of things falling apart: a marriage and a family, plans for a bar mitzvah and, on a more global scale, the nation of Israel. But it’s also an examination of how people hold it together as they struggle with the real, and imagined, pressures of everyday life.

Amy Haimerl

When looking for a new house, prospective homeowners usually prepare to make a few cosmetic changes. When Amy Haimerl and her husband moved into their new Detroit home, it was completely void of plumbing, heating, and electricity.

Hydraulic fracturing rig
flickr user Eusko Jaurlaritza / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In the last decade the term "fracking" has become part of the national lexicon.

Now, it's the focus of a new anthology that pulls together the work of almost 50 writers. It's called Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America.

Downtown Flint.
flickr user Tony Faiola / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Flint is in the news a lot these days. Lead contamination of the water; people getting sick, some dying from Legionnaires' disease; one of the most violent cities in the country. 

But Flint is home to nearly 100,000 people.

A new book tells the story of some of those who've made Flint their home. It's called Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology. The collection of stories was edited by Scott Atkinson

What caused the Flint water crisis?
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis is now an important piece of the city's story and history.

It will affect the city and its residents for decades to come.  

Michigan Radio and countless other local and national news outlets have reported various aspects of the crisis, from how it unfolded to how the crisis will affect the city's children as they grow into adults. And that reporting will continue into the foreseeable future, since Flint water is still not safe to drink, unfiltered.

flickr user Jamin Gray / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The rumor mill is certainly thriving in the 21st century.

But roll the clock back a few hundred years, and we see that not much has changed. Even without the help of Facebook or Twitter, rumors spread quickly in early America.

 

These rumors may have been groundless, but they managed to take root and affected many important issues of the day.

When prospective parents consider the possibility of adopting a child, they think about what advantages they might offer a child: a loving, stable home with economic and education advantages that the child might not otherwise have.

But as the years go on and that child grows up, there can be pitfalls and problems that no one can foresee.

And, if the child is of a different race and ethnic background than the adoptive parents, the pitfalls can be especially challenging.

Courtesy of the author

The Old Testament story of Cain and Abel is one of the most compelling in the Bible. How could a man kill his brother?

The tragedy is at the heart of the stunning debut novel The Fishermen from Chigozie Obioma.

Obioma was born in Nigeria and earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

The Fishermen is a parable set in 1990s Nigeria.

AK Press

Octavia's Brood, a science fiction anthology being launched this week in Detroit uses, the genre as a form of social activism.

The anthology's title is a nod to Octavia Butler, one of the first black female sci-fi writers to gain recognition, including a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

Butler published 12 novels and a collection of short stories, many of which feature young, black female protagonists who constantly adapt to new conditions.

poetryfoundation.org/bio/ken-mikolowski

It’s National Poetry Month and in its honor, we are exploring the work and styles of Michigan poets.

Ken Mikolowski, a poet and poetry professor at the University of Michigan, has just released his fifth book, ThatThat. It’s a book that reveals this poet’s mastery of the short poem – no poem within the book is longer than three short lines.

“Haiku is much too long for me,” Mikolowski said.

Erna Roberts has had a full life. As a survivor of the WWII Nazi takeover of her homeland, Latvia, as well as two separate Russian occupations, still living on her own at the age of 97 is the least of her feats.

Bill Haney has spent many years in communications and book publishing in Michigan. 

His new memoir What They Were Thinking: Reflections of Michigan Difference-Makers tells the stories of the many special Michiganders he's come to know throughout the years.

The book includes profiles of 18 Michigan men and women, including the legendary sportscaster for the Detroit Tigers Ernie Harwell.

Last week, we told you about Rebecca Scherm, an emerging Ann Arbor author who has broken into the literary scene with her novel Unbecoming

As Kate Wells explains:

portrait of Phoebe Gloeckner
Stamps School of Art and Design / Stamps School of Art and Design website

This year's Sundance Film Festival has extra-special meaning for a University of Michigan professor.

Phoebe Gloeckner is a professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design. Her 2002 graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl has been made into a feature film starring Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig that will premiere this weekend at Sundance.