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The Daily


Your handy guide to the 2009 Wisconsin Book Festival

"When we walk," Thoreau wrote, "we naturally go to the fields and woods." True enough, but so what? Once you've arrived at the literary meadows and forests of the Wisconsin Book Festival, the great Henry David's aphorism is little help finding a path through its thickets of words -- and there must be scores of trails from which to choose. >More
 Wisconsin Book Festival 2009: Bonnie Jo Campbell speaks

Novelist and short-story author Bonnie Jo Campbell's new collection, American Salvage, traverses the bleak social and economic landscapes of rural Michigan, where methamphetamine labs are as common as unemployment. >More
 Wisconsin Book Festival 2009: Michelle Wildgen speaks

In a wide-ranging interview, Michelle Wildgen discusses the genesis and evolution of her new novel, But Not for Long, and its characters, the challenges and rewards of writing it, real-life apprehensions and anxieties, courage and what she always carries with her. >More
 Wisconsin Poetry Festival examines Lorine Niedecker, other poets

The Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3 and 4, in Fort Atkinson. Events include workshops, panel discussions, exhibits, poetry readings and tours of landmarks associated with the late Niedecker, a Wisconsin native and internationally respected poet, including her former cabin on Blackhawk Island. >More
 A Book A Week: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold

I really had high hopes for Beguilement, which is the first volume of a series called The Sharing Knife. My hopes were high not so much because I had heard anything about this book, but because I wanted it to be good. >More
 No Time to Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard is skillful, ludicrous

Jacquelyn Mitchard's latest book, No Time to Wave Goodbye, exhibits all the traits that have made her so successful and well loved: brisk, journalistic prose, a group of readily identifiable characters and a tale that tugs at the emotions with the insistence of a wayward child. >More
 A Book A Week: Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach

Marti Leimbach's Daniel Isn't Talking came out in 2006 and I remember reading some of the press about it with interest. Autism was in the news a lot because I think 2006 was the height of the autism/vaccination link controversy; not that autism has stopped being in the news. >More
 A Book A Week: The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

This book was so forgettable that I forgot to blog about it. It's one of the books I bought at Powell's in Portland, Oregon, back in the beginning of August. The plot sounded like something I would like: a simple tailor in rural France is transformed into a leading couturier when he creates a fabulous wedding dress for a socialite. >More
 Lorrie Moore, at long last

At 52, novelist and short-story writer Lorrie Moore has lived in Madison nearly half her life. Yet Moore, in both her work and the way others perceive her, retains a curious insider-outsider relationship to the Midwest. >More
 A Book A Week: Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies

I thought this book was a novel about a crumbling marriage. It turns out that it's a true story about a crumbling marriage, which makes it a little weirder to read. If it were a novel it would fit squarely into the "domestic fiction" category that I love so much. Is there such a thing as "domestic nonfiction?" >More
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