In response to two open letters from bookseller Karl Pohrt to the Ann Arbor community, a loose coalition of booklovers is coming together to save Shaman Drum bookstore from closing its doors. In a letter sent out to Shaman Drum’s e-mail list Friday and discussed on the front page of the Ann Arbor News the next day, University of Michigan English professor Julie Ellison warns that the 29-year-old booktore is “dying.” Ellison and the letter’s co-signers, who include former poet laureates Robert Hass and Robert Pinsky, bookseller Richard Howorth of Square Books in Oxford, Miss., plus 40 Ann Arbor residents, propose solutions meant to turn the bookstore into what she calls a “humanities commons.”
Ellison’s proposals include the University of Michigan changing its current textbook policy to include a statement on the benefits of buying textbooks from local booksellers; individuals buying shares in the bookstore’s nonprofit arm, the Great Lakes Literary Arts Center; the University of Michigan Humanities Center making space available for arts center classes; the university using the bookstore as a site for teaching students about consumer behavior in the digital age; and students and faculty in the university’s Nonprofit and public Management Center and the School of Information assisting the bookstore in developing a new business model and writing grants to support it.
We really hope some good comes out of all of this, and that they find a way to keep Shaman Drum alive.
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .
Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .
It’s been almost a year since the publication of Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, but despite being included on the 2015 PEN Translation award longlist, and some pretty vocal support from key indie presses, the book has. . .
Jorge Eduardo Benavides’ novel La paz de los vencidos (The Peace of the Defeated) takes the form of a diary written by a nameless Peruvian thirty-something intellectual slumming it in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. Recently relocated. . .
Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for “breaths”) was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of. . .
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .
Like any good potboiler worth its salt, Fuminori Nakamura’s The Gun wastes no time setting up its premise: “Last night, I found a gun. Or you could say I stole it, I’m not really sure. I’ve never seen something so. . .
Heiner Resseck, the protagonist in Monika Held’s thought-provoking, first novel, This Place Holds No Fear, intentionally re-lives his past every hour of every day. His memories are his treasures, more dear than the present or future. What wonderful past eclipses. . .
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate office, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” To Björn, the office worker who narrates Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room, the reality is simple: there’s a door near the bathroom that leads. . .
I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist Press. In addition to the usual amusement of finally hearing both sides of the podcast (normally I just hear parts of Chad’s side. . .