Southeast Michigan has produced many talented writers. Check out these books from the area’s finest!
How it happens / Jean Alicia Elster
How It Happens follows the story of author Jean Alicia Elster’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy May Jackson. Born in Tennessee in 1890, Dorothy May was the middle daughter of Addie Jackson, a married African-American housekeeper at one of the white boardinghouses in town, and Tom Mitchell, a commanding white attorney from a prominent family. Through three successive generations of African-American women, Elster intertwines the fictionalized adaptations of the defining periods and challenges-race relations, miscegenation, sexual assault, and class divisions-in her family’s history.
This is a powerful story that reflects many family histories in the United States. Written for young adults, this matter-of-fact narration makes its difficult subject more accessible. A whole-hearted YA and adult recommendation for fans of historical fiction, skilled character development, and US history. Available as an ebook through hoopla.
Boys come first / Aaron Foley
Suddenly jobless and single after a devastating layoff and a breakup with his cheating ex, advertising copywriter Dominick Gibson flees his life in Hell’s Kitchen to try and get back on track in his hometown of Detroit. He’s got one objective — exit the shallow dating pool ASAP and get married by thirty-five — and the deadline’s approaching fast. Meanwhile, Dom’s best friend, Troy Clements, an idealistic teacher who never left Michigan, finds himself at odds with all the men in his life: a troubled boyfriend he’s desperate to hold onto, a perpetually dissatisfied father, and his other friend, Remy Patton. Remy, a rags-to-riches real estate agent known as ‘Mr. Detroit,’ has his own problems — namely choosing between making it work with a long-distance lover or settling for a local Mr. Right Now who’s not quite Mr. Right. And when a high-stakes real estate deal threatens to blow up his friendship with Troy, the three men have to figure out how to navigate the pitfalls of friendship and a city that seems to be changing overnight.
Boys Come First examines love and friendship in the midst of change. Both Old Detroit and New Detroit will relate to this heartfelt and hilarious story. Recommended for fans of queer fiction, rom-coms, and books featuring Detroit. Also available as an ebook through hoopla.
Join us November 14, 2023 in the Library to hear Aaron Foley speak about his debut novel, Boys Come First! Read further details on the library calendar.
Chevy in the hole: a novel / Kelsey Ronan
A novel about the things that change over time and the things that don’t, Chevy in the Hole is ultimately a love letter to Flint and the resilience of its people. Throughout, the city reverberates through these families and friendships, which remind us again and again what people need from one another and from the city they call home.
Weaving together the primary characters’ family histories, the novel presents the complexities of Flint, its inhabitants, and love. Recommended for those interested in Michigan history and multigenerational dramas. Also available as an audiobook through hoopla.
Divining : a memoir in trees / Maureen Dunphy
In sixteen essays, each named after a species of tree, Maureen Dunphy explores the nature of human-arboreal relationships, and how each of these trees has, literally, served as a friend, a confidante, or a place to rest. The depth and diversity of these relationships are revealed through essays that are both intimate and universal, moving and informative. While Dunphy’s relationships with trees are unique and personal, her work reveals the deep-rooted complexity that connects all of humanity to our staunch, upright companions in life, the members of the “Standing Nation.” Beyond providing oxygen, food, and shelter, trees can be sites of emotional refuge, sources of intellectual enrichment, and a boon to physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Recommended for nature lovers and fans of creative nonfiction alike, this book will make the reader want to pause and find a tree to read under. Also available as an ebook through hoopla.
Librarian’s notes in italics.
September 2023: AI