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!