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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Preview and Report from Your Happy Northport Bookseller


From below, the surf churns grey and white. It billows like the bottoms of clouds, creates a sound like rolling barrels, or the distant muffled stampede of horses.

What prickling sensation at the precipitous drops—one hundred feet, two hundred feet, and more—where the slow-growing fish feed. The herring and the whitefish I once sought. The rising siscowet and the trout. Suspended overhead like long dark shoes. Like deeds left undone. The shape of regret.


- Danielle Sosin, The Long-Shining Waters

That’s a preview, and here’s the reminder: Danielle Sosin will visit Dog Ears Books on Monday, June 20. The excerpt above is one of her novel’s poetic passages set between chapters that follow the lives of three women on Lake Superior in, respectively, the years 1622, 1902 and 2000. Nuruddin Farah, author of Book of Knots, called The Long-Shining Waters a “truly inspiring and ambitious work of fiction,” and Publishers Weekly said, “Sosin writes sensuously detailed prose and distills he emotions of her characters into a profound and universal need for acceptance and love.” Sosin’s previously published book was a collection of short stories, Garden Primitives, but I can’t wait to ask her if she also writes poetry. (I can’t believe she doesn’t.) Please come by around 1 p.m. on Monday to welcome Danielle to Northport and talk to her about her book, which she will sign for you with pleasure.

Now for a report on Ellen Airgood’s first trip to Northport. We had a wonderful time! Everyone had a wonderful time! Her visit featured only two unfortunate aspects: the first was that Sallie, Ellen and Rick’s dog, did not get to make the trip this time (well, and neither did Rick!), and the second was that I was so busy tending to business during Ellen’s two hours at the bookstore that I didn’t get many pictures of her at Dog Ears. Here are a couple, anyway—Ellen visiting with customers and Ellen glimpsed through the crowd, reading from her novel.



Luckily for me, we had her as a houseguest for two nights. “I feel so at home here,” she said. “It smells like the farmhouse where I grew up.” Sarah, who loves company, enjoyed Ellen’s companionship almost as much as David and I did. There was another treat for Sarah, too, in that Gerry Sell from Torch Lake Views drove clear around Grand Traverse Bay with her famous dogs, Miss Sadie and the Cowboy, and the three of them stayed overnight with us on Friday, too. Sorry again, Sallie! You missed the guided (outdoor) tour Sarah gave her doggie guests on Saturday morning! Once the dogs were rounded up again, Gerry and Ellen and I enjoyed morning coffee in relatively leisurely fashion on the front porch, talking about books and writing and dogs and such, and David kindly documented the meeting before we all went our separate ways.



Don’t I have a wonderful life? I am honored to have such wonderful friends and grateful to everyone who joined us on Friday to celebrate Ellen Airgood’s first published book. It won’t be the last, and those who were here can say they “knew her when....”

We are headed now toward the longest day. Coreopsis is coming into bloom. So soon, so soon! How quickly the long, rich, beautiful days of June slip away!

12 comments:

Gerry said...

Thank you so much for inviting us. We all had a most wonderful time. The Duo slept all the way home, and had a pretty good nap this afternoon, too.

I would have napped myself, but I was engrossed in South of Superior. What wonderful characters! It is a delicious book.

Dawn said...

ahhh...so glad you had a wonderful time. Yes your life IS blessed! And I too think summer is slipping away too fast. But then again doesn't it always?

P. J. Grath said...

Delicious book, engrossing characters, summer slipping away too fast--again! That about sums it up.

Maiya Willits said...

I am a few chapters in to the Long-Shining Waters and really enjoying it!

P. J. Grath said...

Good to hear, Maiya. I'm wondering if there is one character you are identifying with more than others.

Ellen Airgood said...

Pamela, David, Gerry, Sarah, Cowboy, Sadie... And Susan and Larry, too! It was great spending time with all of you. Just what a summery visit ought to be...relaxed, quiet, delicious. Thank you! Ellen

P. J. Grath said...

Ellen, your standing invitation to the farmhouse includes a standing invitation to the bookstore. We loved having you!

Kathy said...

You do have a wonderful life! How fun that you were able to spend time with Gerry and the Duo and others. It's good that Lake Superior and Lake Michigan were able to meet so amiably.

Susan said...

Um, I hate to be so mundane but....Ellen, I love your plaid pants! Where can I get some?

P. J. Grath said...

I'm tossing that question back to Ellen but want everyone to know that she is going to be interviewed by Linda Wertheimer of NPR for an upcoming Sunday Weekend Edition!

P. J. Grath said...

Kathy, Lake Michigan is my home lake, and Lake Superior is my home-away-from-home lake. Susan, Ellen says I can tell you that those are her jammie pants. She hadn't dressed yet for the day when David was ready to take the pictures.

P. J. Grath said...

Here's the latest from Ellen:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/fashion/modern-love-a-side-order-of-romance-please.html