National Book Award Winner Kevin Boyle to Headline Library of Michigan's Daylong Tribute to Great Lakes Storytelling

Contact: Sarah Lapshan (517) 241-1736

April 18, 2006

The Library of Michigan Foundation today announced that critically acclaimed author Kevin Boyle - whose 2004 work "Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age" won the National Book Award for non-fiction - will serve as keynote speaker for the Saturday, May 6, "Night for Notables," part of a daylong celebration of the 2006 Michigan Notable Books.  The activities begin with the Library of Michigan's afternoon event, Michigan Notable Author Day.  This free program will give book lovers the chance to attend discussions and book signings with more than a dozen Notable authors.  Michigan Notable Author Day runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and a "Night for Notables" follows from 7 to 9:30 p.m.


"Night for Notables" starts with hors d'oeuvres and wine at 7 p.m.  State Librarian Nancy R. Robertson will lead the tribute, and copies of the 2006 Michigan Notable Books will be available for purchase.  "Night for Notables" is open to all, with tickets priced at $25 per person.  To reserve your spot and get more details about this Library of Michigan Foundation special event, please call (517) 373-4692.  The Library of Michigan is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., in downtown Lansing.  Weekend parking is free.


A professor at Ohio State University, Kevin Boyle teaches 20th-century American history with an emphasis on class, race and politics.  His previous books include "The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968" and, with co-author Victoria Getis, "Muddy Boots and Ragged Aprons: Images of Working-Class Detroit, 1900-1930."  He is the editor of "Organized Labor and American Politics, 1894-1994: The Labor-Liberal Alliance."


"Arc of Justice" details the story of Dr. Ossian Sweet, who moves his African-American family into an all-white neighborhood in 1920s Detroit.  After violence erupts at the Sweet home and a white man is killed, the gripping story shifts to the courtroom as Dr. Sweet and his family and friends are all on trial for murder in this landmark event in the development of the civil rights movement.  The book was also named as a 2005 Michigan Notable Books selection.


"Everyone associated with the Michigan Notable Books program is thrilled to have Kevin Boyle at the heart of our event," said Judith K. Moore, executive director of the Library of Michigan Foundation.  "'Night for Notables' is a simple yet powerful way to recognize the remarkable talent and rich literary heritage that continue to thrive right here in our home state.  It's also an opportunity to thank the sponsors whose generosity makes Michigan Notable Books more accessible to the public." 


The third annual Michigan Notable Author Day is an opportunity to mingle with and learn about this year's Notable authors.  "If you're a fan of quality writing, engaging stories and all things Michigan, I can't think of many better places to be on May 6 than here at the Library of Michigan," said Michigan Notable Author Day coordinator Kris Rzepczynski.


Afternoon sessions will last 45 minutes.  All 2006 Michigan Notable Books will be available for purchase, and one book will be given away during each session.  Participating authors include:


  • Steve Amick, "The Lake, the River & the Other Lake: A Novel"
  • Dean Bakopoulos, "Please Don't Come Back From the Moon"
  • Charles Ferguson Barker, "Under Michigan: The Story of Michigan's Rocks and Fossils"
  • M. Christine Byron & Thomas R. Wilson, "Vintage Views of the Charlevoix-Petoskey Region"
  • David A. Carson, "Grit, Noise & Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll"
  • Jack Driscoll, "How Like an Angel: A Novel"
  • Charles K. Hyde, "The Dodge Brothers: The Men, the Motor Cars and the Legacy"
  • Thomas Lynch, "Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans"
  • Thomas J. Noer, "Soapy: A Biography of G. Mennen Williams"
  • Gene Scott, "Michigan Shadow Towns: A Study of Vanishing and Vibrant Villages"
  • Sue Stauffacher, "Harry Sue"
  • Ed Wargin, "Legends of Light: A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio"
  • Keith R. Widder, "Michigan Agricultural College: The Evolution of a Land-grant Philosophy, 1855-1925"

The Michigan Notable Books program is designed to promote reading and raise awareness of Michigan's strong literary heritage.  Throughout the month of May, several Michigan Notable Books authors will take their stories on the road, visiting libraries and other locations throughout the state - more than 50 stops in total - to talk with the public about their books and the writing process.  A full schedule of author visits will soon be posted on the Michigan Notable Books Web site at


Michigan Notable Books events are sponsored in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, Cooley Law School, ProQuest, LaSalle Bank, the Library of Michigan, the Library of Michigan Foundation, Michigan Center for the Book, Michigan Week, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Schuler Books & Music and media partner The Lansing State Journal.


The Library of Michigan Foundation raises funds to support special programs, services and collections of the Library of Michigan.


The Library of Michigan is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL).  Dedicated to strengthening the economy and enriching the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, the department also includes the Michigan Historical Center, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Film Office.