The author writes a book highlighting the women of the land of copper


Mary Doria Russell today discussed her book, “Women of Copper Country,” at a virtual press conference launching Michigan Humanities’ Great Michigan Read 2021-2022. Russell discussed the research and storytelling that went into his account of how Annie Clements, 25, stood up for miners and their families during the copper strikes of 1913.

Russell, who said she was honored to have her book chosen for this year’s Great Michigan Read, spent time on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, walking the streets of Calumet, visiting mines and visiting museums locals as she prepared to write her fictional tale of the real great Annie.

“The Copper Strike itself has been studied and written by historians and legal experts, but these accounts are not meant to stir the reader’s emotions. It was my job: to combine imagination and empathy with research, ”she said. “Here is a 25-year-old woman who is at the center of a strike against the most powerful company in the most dangerous industry of her time, a child of despised immigrants and a housewife with a simple one-to-one upbringing. days when women couldn’t vote and weren’t supposed to participate in public life. Somehow she mobilized 10,000 miners and kept everyone going, day after day. day, month after month So my job was to tell the readers: what makes a woman like Annie Clements?

The Great Michigan Read starts this month and runs through Spring 2022. In addition to free books, Great Michigan Read partners receive reading guides, teacher guides, bookmarks, and other materials. additional free. Schools, libraries, colleges, arts and cultural institutions, and a range of other nonprofit organizations are eligible to be Great Michigan Read partners. Registration is open now at Michigan Humanities. Russell will be taking part in a virtual author tour in October. An authors tour in 2022 will take place, but decisions regarding in-person or virtual sessions will be made at a later date.

“We are thrilled to kick off our Great Michigan Read 2021-22 with a virtual event with Mary Doria Russell, author of ‘The Women of the Copper Country’,” said Jennifer Rupp, Interim President and CEO of Michigan Humanities . “As we begin this new cycle of Great Michigan Read, we look forward to seeing partner reactions to the book, and hope that the story of ‘Joan of Arc of America’ will inspire meaningful discussion among readers of the. Michigan.”

Widely acclaimed for her meticulous research, beautiful prose, and the compelling narrative power of her stories, Russell is the award-winning author of seven bestselling novels, including the sci-fi classics “The Sparrow” and “Children of God”; the WWII thriller, “A Thread of Grace”; and a political love story set in Cairo in 1921 entitled “Dreamers of the Day”. With his novels “Doc” and “Epitaph”, Russell redefined two prominent figures of the American West: lawyer Wyatt Earp and dental surgeon Doc Holliday. She holds a doctorate. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Michigan and taught anatomy at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio. A photo of Russell is available here.

The Great Michigan Read aims to connect Michigan residents by deepening readers’ understanding of our state, our society, and our humanity. The Great Michigan Read 2019-2020 book was “What the Eyes Cannot See,” Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha’s account of her discovery that Flint’s children were poisoned by lead leaking into drinking water from the city. The 2017-18 book was “X: A Novel,” a fictional account of the Michigan youth and roots of civil rights leader Malcolm X. A Great Michigan Read logo is available here and here.

The 2021-2022 Great Michigan Read title was selected by seven regional selection committees made up of teachers, librarians, community leaders and book enthusiasts representing all corners of Michigan. After reading books on Michigan themes or places from June to September 2020, the selection committee chairs met virtually in November 2020 and selected “Women of Copper Country” as Michigan’s next big read.

The Greater Michigan Read 2021-22 is presented by Michigan Humanities and supported by national, state and local partners including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Meijer Foundation, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, Library of Michigan, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Michigan Radio, WCMU Public Media, Image Creative Group, and Martin Waymire.

Action grants of up to $ 750 will be available to help support Great Michigan Read’s Registered Partners programming focused on the themes found in the title of the book. Sponsorship opportunities are also available to support partner events statewide. Contact Michigan Humanities to find out how to get involved.

A recording of today’s virtual press conference is available here. It can also be found on the Michigan Humanities Facebook page. here.

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