Michigan Literary Luminaries: From Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden
By Anna Clark
The History Press, 2015
From Ernest Hemingway’s rural adventures to the gritty fiction of Joyce Carol Oates, the landscape of the “Third Coast” has inspired generations of the nation’s greatest storytellers. Michigan Literary Luminaries shines a spotlight on this rich heritage of the Great Lakes State. Discover how Saginaw greenhouses shaped the life of Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Theodore Roethke. Compare the common traits of Detroit crime writers like Elmore Leonard and Donald Goines. Learn how Dudley Randall revolutionized American literature by doing for poets what Motown Records did for musicians. Join author Anna Clark as she unveils Michigan’s extraordinary written culture with a mixture of history, literary criticism and original reporting.
Read an excerpt of the book, “What Philip Levine’s Work Is,” in Belt Magazine.
Read an excerpt of the book’s introduction in Deadline Detroit.
Click here to buy Michigan Literary Luminaries.
“There’s the dark humor of the Southern gothic tradition and the adventure of countless pioneer stories set in the American West. But the Midwest hasn’t always had a cohesive literary identity despite producing some of the country’s most famous storytellers.”
— “Detroit reporter explores history of Michigan’s ‘literary luminaries.'”
“Clark has given herself a tough assignment: Writing about writers who wrote stories and poems about Michigan. She has, however, written with radiance herself …”
— “Anna Clark’s Michigan Literary Luminaries.”
“By the end of the book, Clark intends to leave us with an extensive reading list and idea of what it takes to write and create a literary culture within a community.”
— “Author Anna Clark explores Michigan’s rich literary history.”
“‘… Detroit is becoming a place where you choose to be a writer.’”
—“Harper Lee to Hemingway.”
“‘Becoming acquainted with her work is one of the great gifts of this project for me, personally,” Clark said. “I love that she chronicles in this really powerful way the Southern migration that has deeply impacted Michigan culture in ways that I don’t think we fully recognize.'”
–“Book introduces key Michigan Writers”
Lansing State Journal
“‘… what these writers reveal is that the literary culture of this state is as deep and vast as the inland seas that surround it. From our tiny beach-side towns to our grand cities, Michigan has cultivated an impressive literary tradition, which includes passionate readers, groundbreaking publishers and some of the greatest writers of the last century.'”
— “‘Michigan Literary Luminaries’ looks at state’s top writers.'”
Detroit Free Press
“‘…it was important to me to not simply string together known facts about all of these writers. I didn’t want the book to read like an extended Wikipedia entry. And so original reporting and literary analysis was important to this book. New information and insight, I hope, bring surprises. I certainly navigated unexpected questions along the way.'”
— “Detroit Author Explores Mich. Literary Giants You’ve Read–Or Should.“
“…a combination of reporting, history and literary criticism that weaves its way around the state…”
— “Voices from Detroit.”