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2015 Michigan Notable Book Author Biographies

The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War by A.J. Baime (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

A. J. Baime has written extensively on the American auto industry.  He has written Arsenal of Democracy and Go Like Hell.  He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and a contributing editor to Road & Track.Originally from New Jersey, he attended the University of New Hampshire and later New York University, where he got a Masters in English literature.  He now writes a weekly column in the Wall Street Journal called “My Ride”, and various other travel articles and profiles for numerous publications. Currently he is working on a new book about Harry Truman called the Accidental President.  He lives in Northern California. 

Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron (A Forge Books published by Tom Doherty Associates)

W. Bruce Cameron began his writing career as a humor columnist for the Denver RockyMountain News.  He is a Benchley award winner for humor and was the 2011 NSNC Newspaper Columnist of the Year. He has written for TV and co-wrote the feature film Muffin Top: A Love Story.  His novel A Dog’s Purpose spent 52 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list. DreamWorks is developing it as a film.  The sequel, A Dog’s Journey was a NY Times bestseller.  His novel the Dogs of Christmas was published in 201

A Detroit Anthology edited by Anna Clark (Rust Belt Chic Press)

Anna Clark is a freelance journalist in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Politico, The American Prospect, Grantland, Next City, and other publications.  Anna directs Literary Detroit and teaches poetry in a Detroit high school through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project. She is the director of applications for Write A House, which renovates vacant homes in Detroit and gives them away to writers to keep, forever. She also leads an improv theater workshop in a Macomb County prison and she was a Fulbright fellow in creative writing in Kenya. Anna grew up in St. Joseph. She graduated from the University of Michigan and Warren Wilson College's MFA Program for Writers.

Eight Mile High Jim Ray Daniels (Michigan State University Press)

Jim Ray Daniels’ poem “Factory Love” is displayed on the roof of a race car. Daniels has garnered such honors as the Brittingham Prize for Poetry, the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the Thomas Stockham Baker Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, and currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his family.

Strings Attached by Diane DeCillis (Wayne State University Press)

Diane DeCillis’ poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best American Poetry. She was awarded the CruciblePoetry Prize and Ocean Prize, and won the MacGuffinNational Poet Hunt.  Her short stories, essays and poems have appeared in CALYX, Evansville Review, Nimrod International Journal, Connecticut Review, Gastronomica, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, Gargoyle, A Gathering Of Tribes, Rattle, Slipstream, The Southern Indiana Review, The William And Mary Review, and numerous other journals. She is coeditor of Mona Poetica(Mayapple Press), an anthology dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Bernida: A Michigan Sailing Legend by Al Declercq and Tom Ervin with Gloria Whelan, illustrated by David Miles (Sleeping Bear Press)

Al Declercq is a professional sailboat racer and sail maker.  Al has over 50,000 miles of offshore sailing experience including one Fasnet Race, one Trans-Atlantic delivery, 1 Trans-Pac race, 5 Miami to Jamaica races, 5 Newport to Bermuda races, 6 Marblehead to Halifax races, 6 St. Petersburg to Ft. Lauderdale races, 2 Newport to Cabo St. Lucas races, 3 Annapolis to Newport races, 38 Pt. Huron to Mackinac races, 32 Chicago to Mackinac races and 3 Trans-Superior races. Al has won the One-Ton Worlds, One-Ton North Americans, Two-Ton Worlds, Two-Ton North Americans, MORC Internationals, 17 Mackinac races and numerous one-design events.  In 2013 he wrote, Bernida: A True Story that Cannot be True.

The Art of Memory: Historic Cemeteries of Grand Rapids, Michigan by Thomas R. Dilley (Wayne State University Press, Painted Turtle)

Thomas Dilley is a retired attorney and frequent lecturer on cemetery history in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of several books of local history.  He is a member of the Grand Rapids Historical Commission; trustee of the Grand Rapids Historical Society; past chair of the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation; and trustee of the Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation.

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family by Kathleen Flinn (Viking)

Kathleen Flinn, has been a writer for more than 25 years in print and online.  Kathleen’s writing has appeared in more than three dozen publications worldwide. Her books have been featured in EllePeopleGood Housekeeping, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science MonitorCBS This Morning and numerous NPR programs including “Talk of the Nation.” Her third book is Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Story of Food & Love from an American Midwest Family, a multi-generational memoir-with-recipes about her culinary heritage growing up in Michigan. She serves on the board of directors for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She divides her time between Seattle and Anna Maria Island, Florida with her husband, Mike, and their trusty rescue dog, Maddy.

Rivers of Sand: Fly Fishing Michigan and the Great Lakes Region by Josh Greenberg (Lyons Press)

Josh Greenberg is manager of the famous Gates Au Sable Lodge and writes a popular, on-line fishing report that draws as many as 40,000 hits a month. He has contributed to several magazines, including Fly, Rod & Reel and Fly Fisherman. Three years ago, he contributed to a book with his boss, Calvin “Rusty” Gates. With little fanfare, and published by a local press, Seasons of the Au Sable sold 5,000 copies in less than two years.

Making Callaloo in Detroit by Lolita Hernandez (Wayne State University Press)

Lolita Hernandez is the author of two collections of short stories: Making Callaloo in Detroit and Autopsy of an Engine and Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant, winner of a 2005 PEN Beyond Margins Award. She also is the author of two chapbook collections of poems: Quiet Battles and snakecrossing. She is a 2012 Kresge Literary Arts fellow. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in a wide variety of literary publications. After over thirty three years as a UAW worker at General Motors, she now teaches in the Creative writing Department of the University of Michigan Residential College.

Songs Only You Know: A Memoir by Sean MadiganHoen (Soho Press)

Sean Hoen was raised in Dearborn, Michigan and is the author of Songs Only You Know: A Memoir. His short stories and prose have been published in many journals, including, the American Literary Review, and Paste, as well as, BOMB Magazine, where he was awarded the 2011 Fiction Award Magazine. In a previous life he was a song-and-dance man, traveling in used conversion vans and performing to what one might kindly refer to as “intimate crowds.” Hoen has taught at Columbia University and Western Michigan University. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.

Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past by Sally Howell (Oxford University Press) 

Sally Howell is assistant professor of history and Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is co-author of Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit after 9/11 and editor of Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade. She holds her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in American Culture.  Her website, Building Islam in Detroit (BIID), is an interdisciplinary research project that explores the development of mosques and other Muslim institutions in Detroit over the last century. 

The Contract by Derek Jeter (Jeter Publishing)

Derek Jeter started playing baseball at Kalamazoo Central High School.  Jeter won several national sports awards, including being named the American High School Coaches Association's 1992 "High School Player of the Year," the 1992 "Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year" and USA Today's "High School Player of the Year."  He was drafted by the Yankees in 1992.  During 1996, his performance helped the Yankees win the World Series. Four more Yankees World Series wins followed in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. Jeter is the all-time Yankees hit leader and was named team captain in 2003. When he officially retired in 2014, he ranked sixth in MLB history, with 3,465 hits.  In 1996, he established the Turn 2 Foundation to promote healthy lifestyles among youth.

Strange Love by Lisa Lenzo (Wayne State University Press)

Lisa Lenzo lives in southwestern Michigan, where she drives and dispatches for the local bus company and writes.  Her first story collection, Within the Lighted City, was chosen by Ann Beattie for an Iowa Short Fiction Award and published by the University of Iowa Press.  Her stories and essays have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Mississippi Review Prize Issue: Italian American Reader; Sacred Ground: Stories About Home; Tales from the Concrete Highway; Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, and on NPR. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Detroit, Lenzo lives with her husband near Saugatuck, Michigan.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman (Ecco)

Josh Malerman is a writer and musician.  He is the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band High Strung, reputed to be one of the most overlooked bands in America.  He is the author of Bird Box and Ghastle and Yule. High Strung is the group responsible for the theme song for the Showtime series Shameless. He lives in Ferndale, Michigan with his fiancée Allison Laakko. 

Station Eleven: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf Doubleday Publishing)

Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.  Her fourth novel, Station Eleven, was a 2014 National Book Award Finalist. All four of her novels—Station Eleven; Last Night in Montreal; The Singer's Gun; and The Lola Quartet—were Indie Next Picks, and The Singer's Gun was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections; including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.

The Fish and the Not Fish by Peter Markus (Dzanc Books)

Peter Markus is the author of the novel, Bob, or Man on Boat (Dzanc Books) as well as three books of short-short fiction, the most recent of which is Singing Fish, (Calamari Press). In 2012, he was named a Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow in Literary Arts. He lives in Trenton, Michigan.

Bright Shards of Someplace Else Monica McFawn (University of Georgia Press)

Monica McFawn lives in Michigan and teaches writing at Grand Valley State University. Her fiction has appeared in the Georgia Review; Gettysburg Review; Web Conjunctions; Missouri Review and others.  Her collection of short stories, Bright Shards of Someplace Else, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is also the author of a hybrid chapbook, A Catalogue of Rare Movements and her plays and screenplays have had readings in Chicago and New York.

A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps: My Mother's Memories of Imprisonment, Immigration, and a Life Remade by Barbara Rylko-Bauer (University of Oklahoma Press)

Barbara Rylko-Bauer is a medical anthropologist whose writing focuses on health care inequalities, applied anthropology, political violence, the Holocaust, and intimate ethnography.  Her most recent books are Global Health in Times of Violence and A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps.  Barbara was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.  The family immigrated to the United States in 1950, where Barbara grew up in a Polish-American enclave of Detroit. She attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate and was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Kentucky in 1985. Barbara lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, Daniel Bauer and their son, John.

Michigan Agricultural College Campus Life 1900-1925: A Postcard Tour by Stephen Terry (Thunder Bay)

Stephen Terry is a 1960 Michigan State University graduate who worked on that campus for 32 years.  He served as the University’s Senior Financial Officer before retiring in 1998.  Content for his book came in part from his own private 1000-plus card collection.


Updated 04/17/2015