Bestselling author Tana French talks about what makes a good mystery writer and her latest novel
“I’m always looking for the potential mystery in things,” said author Tana French, on the phone from her Dublin home. “I think that’s what makes a mystery writer.”Being a mystery writer has worked out pretty well for French, who’s written eight acclaimed crime-fiction novels; seven of them New York Times bestsellers, and the eighth, “The Searcher,” released Oct. 6.French didn’t start out as a writer, despite always being drawn to it. She was born in Vermont, to an “Irish and American and Russian and Italian” family, and grew up “all over the world.” Settling in Dublin in her late teens, she st...
The Seattle Times
Family donates 116-year-old diary to historical society
ST. LOUIS — Stephen Phelps calls it the “family bible,” the “holy grail” that has survived 116 years and three generations of family members. But now the family bible, a 132-page diary of the 1904 World’s Fair written by Phelps’ grandmother, Adele Quinette, has found a new home.Last Monday, the Phelps family parted ways with the keepsake journal, and donated it to the Missouri Historical Society.The process first started in July, when Phelps reached out to the archivist Molly Kodner. After speaking with Phelps and hearing about the contents, Kodner didn’t even need to read through the whole di...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May marked its opening. Here's what's inside, and why it's in Cape May.
CAPE MAY, N.J. — A year and a half ago, the old parsonage house of the Macedonia Baptist Church on Lafayette Street in Cape May, vacant for decades, was in danger of being torn down.On Thursday, that danger was declared officially over at Lafayette near Franklin Streets, a corner with deep historic resonance for the city’s Black families and for the country’s abolitionist movement.The old Howell House, newly renovated and expanded, was now filled with artifacts of slavery and abolitionist history, and with an African art and history collection from the Rev. Robert Davis, Macedonia’s longtime p...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Mackinac Island offering remote learning escape for families
Dave Sullivan has gone from working quietly alone at his Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to spending every minute of every day alongside his wife and three young kids with remote learning schedules.“We’ve been cooped up for six months and just to top off 2020, the fantastic year it’s been so far, we’re now doing full-on virtual school,” he said. “We’re tired of seeing the same walls or computer screens. It’s not sustainable.”When Sullivan heard about special family remote-learning getaway packages on Mackinac Island, he planned to discuss the option with his wife, Kristy, immediately.Imagine, he sai...
Detroit Free Press
Chris Niskanen, newspaper columnist turned DNR official, is off to the next challenge
Chris Niskanen, 56, has been Department of Natural Resources communications director since February 2011, a position he is leaving Sept. 8. Previously, for 17 years he was the St. Paul Pioneer Press outdoors columnist. In the interview below, he offers a unique perspective as someone who has reported on the DNR and also worked at the agency alongside its leaders.———Q Was your career goal to be an outdoors writer?A Yes. While in college, I worked for Fins and Feathers magazine for about 6 months. That’s how I got my first newspaper job at the Quad City (Iowa) Times. They needed an outdoor write...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
A desperate race to save parks history as California forests burned all around
SAN JOSE, Calif. — For the past 40 years, Mark Hylkema has been an archaeologist. He has studied events and cultures from thousands of years ago.But last Wednesday, as lightning-sparked fires exploded through the Santa Cruz Mountains, devouring thousands of acres in the area’s largest wildfire in more than a century, Hylkema realized that history was unfolding. And history was at risk.The cultural resources supervisor at the California state parks department’s Santa Cruz district, Hylkema rushed from his home in Sunnyvale to Felton that morning. He jumped into a state parks pickup truck and be...
The Mercury News