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Herb Boyd, author of "Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination." Boyd came to Detroit with his mother in the 1940s. He now teachers at The City College of New York and lives in Harlem, NY
Lester Graham

There are many histories of Detroit. The latest is a comprehensive look at the contributions, accomplishments and long-suffering of the African Americans who have called Detroit home.

The book is Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination by Herb Boyd, son of Detroit and an instructor at The City College of New York currently teaching African American history. Boyd now lives in Harlem.

St. Martin's Press, 2017

It began with unbearable pain — an alarming development for a woman seven months pregnant.

And before too long, Dr. Rana Awdish was losing her grip on life.

While Awdish did not die, she did endure a long, tough recovery from the medical crisis that cost her the life of her unborn child.

And, as a physician who cared for patients in the intensive care unit, she learned profound lessons about how doctors and nurses practice medicine.

Irene Butter headshot
Stateside Staff / Michigan Radio

 


 

Some 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust, and those who survived have lived so long, they're now watching the world forget. 

 

A recent poll shows 66 percent of American millennials don't know what Auschwitz is. Another 22 percent had not heard of the Holocaust or weren't sure if they had. 

 

Belt Publishing

There’s a new collection of stories from Michigan and other Midwest states called Voices from the Rust Belt. Twenty-four writers deal with diverse topics ranging from witnessing segregation, exploring childhood events that leave their mark on adulthood, and some quirks of history where we live.

Courtesy of Michael Gustafson

On the first day that Michael Gustafson and his wife Hilary opened Literati Bookstore in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, something possessed him to place a typewriter on a table for anyone to use.

That was in the spring of 2013. Since then, Gustafson’s “public typewriter experiment” has yielded a treasure trove of notes: some droll, some heartbreaking, some witty, some poignant.

University of Wisconsin Press

Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota were rich hunting grounds for a young man in the early part of the 20th century. He wasn’t hunting game. He was in search of lumberjack songs.

A black and white photo of Tiger Stadium with the stands full
Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The 2018 Tigers will have to wait for another day. Detroit was scheduled to begin the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park today, but Opening Day has been postponed to Friday because of  the weather. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one greatest seasons in Tigers history. It would end with a World Series showdown against the reigning champs, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Harvard Square Editions, 2018

When Michigan’s economy tanked a decade ago, it stepped up a steady stream of young people leaving Michigan to seek work in Chicago.

Michael Ferro was one of those young Michiganders. His experience working for the federal government in the Windy City was the inspiration for his debut novel Title 13.

NSA

Hazel Forrest died last week at the age of 106.

According to The Chronicle Herald out of Nova Scotia, she was one of the last known survivors of the Halifax Explosion, which occurred when two ships, one loaded TNT and other explosives, collided in Halifax Harbour in 1917. It was the biggest man-made blast prior to the atomic bomb. 

Some 2,000 people were killed and many thousands more were injured. Yet, this cataclysmic event is largely forgotten, at least on the U.S. side of our border with Canada.

picture from the new film Jumanji welcome to the jungle
Courtesy Sony Pictures

The film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle stars Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and many more names. It was inspired by the work of Chris Van Allsburg, the renowned writer and illustrator of children's books. He's won two Caldecott Medals for his illustrations for The Polar Express and Jumanji, which was published in 1981.

Van Allsburg grew up in Grand Rapids, and he joined Stateside to talk about the original Jumanji and this new take on the story.

Flatiron Books, 2017

Librarian Annie Spence knows what it’s like to love a book so much she has to write it a love letter. She also knows what it’s like for a break-up letter to be in order.

Her letters to books fill the pages of her own new book Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks.

Chatter House Press, 2017

 

Literature and popular culture haven't been particularly kind to single women. 

Just think of those common terms "spinster" or "old maid."

 

Writer Maureen Paraventi is taking that mean-spirited term and turning it inside out to come up with a modern look at women who choose not to marry.

 

Her new book is "The New Old Maid: Satisfied Single Women."

 

Paraventi, a Detroit-based journalist, novelist, and playwright, joined Stateside to share the story.

Iguana Books, 2017

Lawyers are not known for their clarity, and Joseph Kimble knows this well.

Kimble was a professor of legal writing at Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School for 35 years. He has since switched gears and written a children’s book about a windbag whose highfalutin' talk causes trouble and confusion for kids. He joined Stateside to discuss the inspiration behind Mr. Mouthful Learns His Lesson

Eyewear Publishing, 2017

Cal Freeman’s newest collection of poems, Fight Songs, has nothing to do with ‘The Victors’ or ‘Victory for MSU.’ Instead, his poems are about unsung, little-noticed lives, about underdogs, about animals, plants, and nature.

Author Doug Stanton
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The last American troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973.

America's direct intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end, after many bloody years, and 58,220 American lives lost.

Afterward, the nation, and those Vietnam veterans, had a tough time processing and talking about this war that did not end with victory.

The New Press, 2017

There are accepted historical “facts” which do not hold up to closer scrutiny. One of those is that slavery was something that happened in the South, not the North. That is simply wrong.

A new book examines examples of Northern slavery, focusing on the early days of Detroit.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Tuesday marked the release of NPR's Book Concierge List, an annual book guide produced by NPR critics, reporters, and member stations.

To accompany that list, Michigan Radio has compiled a list of our book reviews from 2017. 

Check it out below!

HarperCollins, 2017

A music lover can likely pinpoint the moment a song or a lyric crashes its way into your young consciousness. And then things are never the same.

For writer Daniel Wolff, that moment happened in 1965, when he first heard Bob Dylan.

Courtesy of the Howe Family

Imagine being a little kid, driving home late at night with your dad.

You drop off to sleep, more or less, but you're awake enough to feel your dad scoop you up, carry you into the house, and gently tuck you into bed.

Now imagine that dad is NHL legend Gordie Howe, and he's tucking you in just a short time after he thrilled thousands of Detroit Red Wings fans cheering for Mr. Hockey at Olympia Stadium.

Melville House, 2017

There is a new book out from Detroit native and journalist Lynda Schuster, Dirty Wars and Polished Silver: The Life and Times of a War Correspondent Turned Ambassatrix. The book, by the former Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent, details her days on the job, in war zones and in far-off corners.

Schuster joined us on Stateside to discuss growing up in Detroit and finding herself in her adventurous career.

A view across the devastated neighborhood of Richmond in Halifax, Nova Scotia after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. The steamship Imo, one of the ships in the collision that triggered the explosion, can be seen aground on the far side of the harbor.
wikimedia commons

The University of Michigan hockey team started its season last week. But the program started 94 years ago. It was a surprising byproduct of the worst man-made explosion to that point, and of a young man who changed his mind about Americans.

St. Lawrence Seaway
Kunal Mukherjee / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Even among those who live in the Great Lakes State, there is a lot of confusion about the health of the Great Lakes.

Some believe that because the lakes are clearer than ever, they’re more healthy, when in fact that clarity is due to invasive species killing off the bottom of the food chain.

Author Oummu Kabba and her father Brima Kabba
Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

It’s never too early to begin following your passion.

That’s true for ten-year-old Oummu Kabba of Kentwood, one of Michigan’s youngest published authors. Schuler Books of Grand Rapids has published four of her books already.

Aaron Foley is the city of Detroit's chief storyteller – and yes, that is a position in city government. He's also the author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass

His latest work gathers neighborhood stories from writers who live or have lived all around the city. It's titled The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook, and Foley is the editor.

COURTESY OF THE SHADY LADIES LITERARY SOCIETY / Facebook

An engrossing book, delicious food, and sparkling conversation. Put all that together in Detroit and you've got the Shady Ladies Literary Society.

Group founder and Detroit-based writer Amy Haimerl, author of Detroit Hustle, and Ashley Shelby, whose novel South Pole Station will be featured at the society's upcoming meeting, joined Stateside on Wednesday.

Da Capo Press, 2017

He was a welcome presence on ESPN and ABC for decades. During his 30 years at ESPN, John Saunders lived every sports fan’s dream job.

But even as this one-time Western Michigan University hockey player rose to become one of the country’s most popular sportscasters, he secretly battled depression – and endured personal traumas that are hard to believe.

David Daley's book "Ratf**ked"
Liveright, 2017


If they know what it is, most people despise gerrymandering, the practice of drawing legislative or congressional districts largely based on partisan advantage. It’s hated, unless it's your party that's benefiting.

Last year, Stateside talked with David Daley, a former editor-in-chief of Salon and the author of Ratf**ked:Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, a book that deals with this very issue. Stateside​ host Lester Graham caught up with him to discuss the second edition's new epilogue on the 2016 election.

"The Scent of Jasmine: Coming of Age in Jerusalem and Damascus" by Anan Ameri
Courtesy of Anan Ameri

Anan Ameri has made her mark here in Michigan.  She is the founder of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, an inductee into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, and she is the founder of the Palestine Aid Society of America.

Now, Ameri is making a new mark as an author. Her new memoir is titled, The Scent of Jasmine: Coming of Age in Jerusalem and Damascus and she joined Stateside to talk about her upbringing. 

smussyolay / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Grocery store shelves, restaurant menus and cookbooks are a lot different in 2017 than they were 30 or 40 years ago.

Americans tend to pay a lot more attention to the food we eat and how it's prepared. We know more about fine wines. Many of us seek out organic fruits and vegetables, and are willing to try exotic foods our parents and grandparents couldn't even imagine.

But, at the same time, we've seen the income inequality gap widen. How has "good food" become conflated with high status?

bbodjack / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

It’s a classic Hollywood plotline: A powerful corporation wants to develop a large tract of pristine land. Local citizens band together, persuade politicians, raise money, and save the land. Everyone goes home from the theater with a smile on their face.

Except, in the case of the Arcadia Dunes, Hollywood had nothing to do with it. The story is real, and it happened here in Michigan.

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