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2018 Michigan Notable Book Author Biographies

Elinor Blake, Illustrator, We’re Going to Be Friends, Third Man Books

Elinor Blake, a native of New York, attended Disney’s Animation Program in California and held positions with shows like Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Ren and Stimpy and more.  We’re Going to Be Friends is her first children’s book.   Also known as the singer April March, early in their careers she and Jack White were signed on the same independent garage-punk label, Sympathy for the Record Industry.  Her albums contain songs sung in both English and French with her style being influenced by French 1960s pop music. 

Frank Boles, Sailing into History: Great Lakes Bulk Carriers of the Twentieth Century and the Crews Who Sailed Them, Michigan State University Press

Frank Boles has been the director of Central Michigan University's Clarke Historical Library since 1991. Previously, he worked at the University of Michigan, Chicago Historical Museum, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Boles received his archival training at Wayne State University, and was awarded a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan.

Herb Boyd, Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-determination, Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers

Herb Boyd is a journalist, activist, teacher, and author or editor of 23 books, including this year’s Great Michigan Read, The Diary of Malcolm X, edited with Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter.  A scholar for more than 40 years, he teaches African American history and culture at the City College of New York in Harlem, where he lives.

Julie Buntin, Marlena: A Novel, Henry Holt and Company

Julie Buntin is from northern Michigan. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, OThe Oprah MagazineSlateElectric Literature, and One Teen Story, among other publications. She teaches fiction writing at Marymount Manhattan College, and is the director of writing programs at Catapult a writing program.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Frank Carollo, Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Chronicle Books

Frank Carollo was born in Detroit and has made Ann Arbor his home since 1972.  Frank met Zingerman’s Delicatessen co-founders, Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig when they all worked together in a restaurant in 1978.  After partnering with Paul at Monahan’s Seafood Market for seven years, he became the managing partner of the Bakehouse when it opened in 1992.  He holds a degree in engineering from the University of Michigan.

Jim Daniels, Rowing Inland, Wayne State University Press 

Jim Daniels’ recent books include Apology to the Moon, Birth Marks, and Eight Mile High. He is also the writer/producer of several short films, including The End of Blessings. Born in Detroit, Daniels is the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Karen Dionne, The Marsh King’s Daughter, G.P. Putman’s Sons

Karen Dionne is the co-founder of the online writer’s community Backspace and organizes the Salt Cay Writers Retreat held every other year on an island in the Bahamas. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, where she served on the board of directors as Vice President.  She enjoys nature photography and lives with her husband in Detroit’s northern suburbs.

Jack Driscoll, The Goat Fish and the Lover’s Knot, Wayne State University Press

Jack Driscoll is a two-time NEA Creative Writing Fellowship recipient and the author of 11 books, including the short story collections Wanting Only to Be Heard, winner of the AWP Short Fiction Award, and The World of a Few Minutes Ago (Wayne State University Press, 2012), winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award. He currently teaches in Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program in Oregon.

Dan Egan, Death and Life of the Great Lakes, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Dan Egan is a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has won the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award along with several other distinctions. A graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, he lives in Milwaukee with his wife and children.

Amy Emberling, Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Chronicle Books

Amy Emberling is a native of Nova Scotia, she gained her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University then continued her culinary education in Paris.  In 1999, she received her MBA from Columbia University.  Amy joined Zingerman’s Bakehouse when it opened in 1992 as one of the original bakers on the staff of eight. She soon became the first manager of the bread bakery, then the manager of the pastry kitchen and in 2000 she became a partner.

Cindy Hunter Morgan, Harborless, Wayne State University Press 

Cindy Hunter Morgan teaches creative writing and book arts at Michigan State University. She is also the author of two chapbooks: The Sultan, The Skater, The Bicycle Maker, which won The Ledge Press 2011 Poetry Chapbook Competition, and Apple Season, which won the Midwest Writing Center’s 2012 Chapbook Contest.  She lives in East Lansing, having studied at Albion College. 

Stephen Mack Jones, August Snow, SOHO Press

Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, award-winning playwright, and recipient of the Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship.  He worked for a number of years in advertising and marketing communications.  Born in Lansing, he currently lives in Farmington Hills. 

Howard Markel, The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek, Pantheon Books

Howard Markel is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.  He also is a professor of: pediatrics, communicable diseases, psychiatry, public health management, history, language, and English literature.  A native of Michigan, he attended the University of Michigan and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1993.

Hendrik Meijer, Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century, University of Chicago Press Books

Hank Meijer is the executive chairman of Meijer Incorporated, a business he joined first as a grocery clerk.  After serving as a reporter for a Detroit-area newspaper group, he became editor and later publisher of a weekly newspaper in Plymouth, MI.  He rejoined Meijer in 1979 as assistant advertising director and has previously published a biography of Hendrick Meijer, the company’s founder.

Tiya Miles, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits, The New Press

A native of Cincinnati, Tiya Miles received her A.B. in Afro-American Studies from Harvard University, an M.A. in Women’s Studies from Emory University and her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota.  She is a professor at the University of Michigan in the departments of American Culture, Afro-American and African Studies, History, Women’s Studies, and Native American Studies Program.  She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and three children. 

Sridhar Pappu, The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Sridhar Pappu writes "The Male Animal" column for the New York Times. He began his award-winning career as a feature writer for the Chicago Reader and has served as a columnist at The New York Observer and as a correspondent for The Atlantic. In addition, he worked as a staff writer at Sports Illustrated and The Washington Post.

William Rapai, Brewed in Michigan: The New Golden Age of Brewing in the Great Beer State, Wayne State University Press, Painted Turtle

William Rapai is an amateur naturalist and former newspaper journalist. He is the author of the 2017 Michigan Notable Book, Lake Invaders: Invasive Species and the Battle for the Future of the Great Lakes. He has traveled across North America and to Cuba, Iceland, and Thailand to view and research wildlife. He was an award-winning reporter and editor for the Grand Forks Herald, the Detroit Free Press, and the Boston Globe before focusing on writing.  He is the president of Grosse Pointe Audubon and a member of Detroit, and National Audubon.

Heather Shumaker, Saving Arcadia: A Story of Conservation and Community in the Great Lakes, Wayne State University Press/Painted Turtle

Heather Shumaker has worked in land conservation for two decades and was coastal program director for protecting Arcadia Dunes. She has a master of science degree in land resources from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is a national speaker and author of It’s OK Not to Share and It’s OK to Go Up the Slide. She lives in northern Michigan with her family.

Michael G. Smith, Designing Detroit: Wirt Rowland and the Rise of Modern American Architecture, Wayne State University Press

Michael G. Smith is a Detroit-area architecture historian with an interest in early 20th Century building and construction. His lifelong enthusiasm for the fine arts led to an early career as a graphic artist and, more recently, his photography work has been published internationally.  Smith resides in Bloomfield Hills.  

Joel Stone, Editor, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies, Wayne State University Press, Painted Turtle Book

Joel Stone is the senior curator at the Detroit Historical Society, which oversees the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. A native Detroiter, he has written and edited works spanning the city’s history.  Stone holds a Masters of History from Wayne State University and a B.A. from University of Detroit Mercy.

Jack White, We’re Going to Be Friends, Third Man Books

Jack White, a native of Detroit, was born John Anthony Gillis in 1975.  He gained national acclaim as the frontman of the band, The White Stripes then continued with projects that included acting and several musical genres.  He founded the Third Man Records label with stores in both Nashville and Detroit.   

Daniel Wolff, Grown-up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913. HarperCollins Publishers

Daniel Wolff is the author of The Fight for Home, How Lincoln Learned to Read, 4th of July/Asbury Park, and You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke.  He has been nominated for a Grammy, published three collections of poetry, and collaborated with songwriters, filmmakers, photographers, and choreographer Marta Renzi, his wife. He lives in Nyack, New York.


Updated 01/14/2018