Bonnie Jo Campbell at Story Week Festival of Writers | Bleader

Bonnie Jo Campbell at Story Week Festival of Writers


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Bonnie Jo Campbell
  • John Campbell
  • Bonnie Jo Campbell
Kalamazoo-based writer Bonnie Jo Campbell, whose terrific story collection American Salvage was a 2009 National Book Award finalist in fiction, talks about her career as part of Columbia College's Story Week Festival of Writers on Wednesday, March 17, 1 PM, at Columbia's Film Row Cinema.

When Campbell gave a reading here last May, I wrote in a Critic's Choice:

"Her new short-story collection, American Salvage, is filled with characters who could only dream of a life as wide-ranging as her own. In rural Michigan, where most of the 14 stories are set, families settle feuds with guns, and faith in Jesus is the ultimate Y2K survival tool. Dope and 40-ouncers are shared along with tales of missing fathers, and 'tipping the bartender and being polite and paying child support' holds lives and communities together. In one gut punch of a story, a man considers ways to deal with his drug addict wife: 'Solution #2: Wait until Connie comes back from the "store," distract her with the baby, and then cut her meth with Drano, so that when she shoots it up, she dies.' Yet Campbell renders her characters with great compassion, not pity."

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