Thursday, May 9, 2019

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Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal

Yuval Taylor

They were best friends. They were collaborators, literary gadflies, and champions of the common people. They were the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance. Zora Neale Hurston, the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Langston Hughes, the author of "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and "Let America Be America Again," first met in 1925, at a great gathering of black and white literati, and they fascinated each other. They traveled together in Hurston's dilapidated car through the rural South collecting folklore, worked on the play Mule Bone, and wrote scores of loving letters. They even had the same patron: Charlotte Osgood Mason, a wealthy white woman who insisted on being called "Godmother."

Paying them lavishly while trying to control their work, Mason may have been the spark for their bitter and passionate falling-out. Was the split inevitable when Hughes decided to be financially independent of his patron? Was Hurston jealous of the young woman employed as their typist? Or was the rupture over the authorship of Mule Bone? Yuval Taylor answers these questions while illuminating Hurston's and Hughes's lives, work, competitiveness, and ambition, uncovering little-known details.

Nonfiction. Call number: 813.52 Tay. View in our catalog

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Stay Up with Hugo Best

Erin Somers

June Bloom is a smart, funny, and clear-eyed writers' assistant on the late-night comedy show, Stay Up with Hugo Best. Hugo Best is in his sixties, a beloved icon of TV and humor, and a notorious womanizer. After he unexpectedly retires and a party is held for his now unemployed staff, June ends up at a dive bar for an open-mic night and prepares for the sad return to the anonymous comedian lifestyle. What she's not prepared for is a run-in with Hugo at that dive bar. Nor for the invitation that swiftly follows: Hugo asks June to come to his mansion in Greenwich for the long Memorial Day weekend. "No funny business," he insists.

June, in need of a job and money, confident she can handle herself, but secretly harboring the remains of a childhood crush on the charming older comedian and former role model, accepts. The exact terms of the visit are never spelled out, but June is realistic and clear-eyed enough to guess. Even so, as the weekend unfolds and the enigmatic Hugo gradually reveals himself, their dynamic proves to be much more complicated and less predictable than she expected.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Som. View in our catalog

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Cherokee America

Margaret Verble

A baby, a black hired hand, a bay horse, a gun, and a neighbor have all gone missing in the same corner of the Cherokee Nation West. Cherokee America Singer, known as Check, is none too pleased with these developments. As a wealthy farmer, the mother of five boys, and the matriarch of her family, she's accustomed to wielding authority. And she's determined to find out what's going on.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, complex alliances and simmering race and culture clashes unite and divide the people living on Cherokee lands. Tensions mount and violence escalates, and the long arm of white law encroaches further into Indian Territory. Determined to survive and thrive on their own terms after decades of betrayal and hardship, Check's family, friends, and neighbors must come together to avenge a crime, outwit federal authorities, and protect their sovereignty.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Ver. View in our catalog

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The Reign of the Kingfisher

T. J. Martinson

Somewhere in Chicago, a roomful of people have been taken hostage. The hostages will be killed one by one, the masked gunman says on-screen, unless the police will admit that they faked the death of the legendary superhero called the Kingfisher and helped him to give up his defense of the city thirty years ago.

Retired reporter Marcus Waters made his name as a journalist covering the enigmatic superhero's five years of cleaning up Chicago's streets. Then the Kingfisher died, Chicago resumed its violent turmoil, and Marcus slid back into obscurity.

But did the Kingfisher really die? And who would take hostages connected to the Kingfisher's past attempts to clean up the streets? With the help of disgraced police officer Lucinda Tillman and a young hacktivist named Wren, Marcus will explore the city's violence, corruption, and chaos to figure out if the vigilante hero died tragically, or gave up hope and abandoned the city—and for the hostages, the clock is ticking.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Mar. View in our catalog

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The Lost Boy's Gift

Kimberly Willis Holt, with illustrations by Jonathan Bean

Nine-year-old Daniel must move across the county with his mom after his parents' divorce. He's leaving behind his whole life—everything—and he's taking a suitcase of anger with him. But Daniel is in for a surprise when he settles into While-a-Way Lane and meets his new neighbors—the Lemonade Girl, the hopscotching mailman, the tiny creatures, and especially Tilda Butter. Tilda knows how to look and listen closely, and it's that gift that helps Daniel find his way in that curious placed called While-a-Way Lane.

Youth fiction. Call number: J FIC Hol. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

© 2018 William P. Faust Westland Public Library