Main Events

Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 6:00pm

Michael Zadoorian will be back in the store on Thursday, June 18th at 6pm to discuss his latest book, The Narcissism of Small Differences. This is a free event, though reservations are always appreciated. To RSVP please call at 231-347-1180, email events@mcleanandeakin.com, or through Facebook or Eventbrite.

"In The Narcissism of Small Differences, Michael Zadoorian writes with smart, skewering accuracy about relationships and midlife, about the costs of irony and complacency, and about how change comes for all of us, whether we're ready for it or not. Zadoorian's humor does that rare thing: packs a punch even as it moves us to sympathy and emotional connection. With Detroit as his steady muse and memory palace, Zadoorian is a writer of consequence in full command of his gifts."
--Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin

"For anyone who's ever asked themselves, 'Am I weird?' Michael Zadoorian has the answer: 'Of course you are. That's the whole idea.' While everyone is trying so hard to act normal, The Narcissism of Small Differences revels in its own weirdness."
--Ben Folds, New York Times best-selling author/singer-songwriter

"The Narcissism of Small Differences asks big questions and delivers big answers but not without wit, taste, and style. A snapshot of a modern relationship, all messiness included. There's nobody better than Michael Zadoorian at unearthing the beauty in ruins, the truth in jest, youth in aging. In a literary landscape where most are hell-bent on outplotting their peers, he has sculpted a thriller from everyday life. For this, it's my most cherished book of the year."
--Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box

Joe Keen and Ana Urbanek have been a couple for a long time, with all the requisite lulls and temptations, yet they remain unmarried and without children or a mortgage, as their Midwestern values (and parents) seem to require. Now on the cusp of forty, they are both working at jobs that they're not even sure they believe in anymore, but with significantly varying returns. Ana is successful, Joe is floundering--both in limbo, caught somewhere between mainstream and alternative culture, sincerity and irony, achievement and arrested development.

Set against the backdrop of bottomed-out 2009 Detroit, a once-great American city now in transition, part decaying and part striving to be reborn, The Narcissism of Small Differences is the story of an aging creative class, doomed to ask the questions: Is it possible to outgrow irony? Does not having children make you one? Is there even such a thing as selling out anymore?

More than a comedy of manners, The Narcissism of Small Differences is a comedy of compromise: the financial compromises we make to feed ourselves; the moral compromises that justify our questionable actions; the everyday compromises we all make just to survive in the world. Yet it's also about the consequences of those compromises and the people we become because of them. By turns wry and ribald, kitschy and gritty, poignant and thoughtful, The Narcissism of Small Differences is the story of Joe and Ana's life together, their relationship, their tribes, their work and passions, and their comic quest for a life that is their own and no one else's.

MICHAEL ZADOORIAN is the critically praised author of Beautiful Music, as well as The Leisure Seeker--the basis for the 2018 Sony Pictures Classics film starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. Zadoorian is a recipient of a Kresge Artist Fellowship in the Literary Arts, the Columbia University Anahid Literary Award, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, the GLIBA Great Lakes Great Reads award, and a Michigan Notable Book Award. His other books are Second Hand: A Novel, and the story collection The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit. His work has appeared in the Literary Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, American Short Fiction, Witness, Great Lakes Review, North American Review, Detroit Noir, and the Huffington Post. A lifetime resident of the Detroit area, he lives with his wife in a 1937 bungalow filled with cats and objects that used to be in the houses of other people.

Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 6:00pm

On Saturday, June 20th at 6pm, join us for a Wine & Cheese reception for Miles Harvey to learn of his latest book, The King of Confidence. We are thrilled to learn about this incredible new work of non-fiction discussing the bizarre story of James Strang, the self-proclaimed king of Beaver Island. While this event is free, reservations are requested. To RSVP please call us at 231-347-1180, email events@mcleanandeakin.com, or through Facebook or Eventbrite.

The riveting story of the most infamous American con man you've never heard of: James Strang, self-proclaimed divine king of earth, heaven, and an island in Lake Michigan, until his assassination in 1856.

In the summer of 1843, James Strang, a charismatic young lawyer and avowed atheist, vanished from a rural town in New York. Months later he reappeared on the Midwestern frontier and converted to a burgeoning religious movement known as Mormonism. In the wake of the murder of the sect's leader, Joseph Smith, Strang unveiled a letter purportedly from the prophet naming him successor, and persuaded hundreds of fellow converts to follow him to an island in Lake Michigan, where he declared himself a divine king.

From this stronghold he controlled a fourth of the state of Michigan, establishing a pirate colony where he practiced plural marriage and perpetrated thefts, corruption, and frauds of all kinds. Eventually, having run afoul of powerful enemies, including the American president, Strang was assassinated, an event that was frontpage news across the country.

The King of Confidence tells this fascinating but largely forgotten story. Centering his narrative on this charlatan's turbulent twelve years in power, Miles Harvey gets to the root of a timeless American original: the Confidence Man. Full of adventure, bad behavior, and insight into a crucial period of antebellum history, The King of Confidence brings us a compulsively readable account of one of the country's boldest con men and the boisterous era that allowed him to thrive.

Miles Harvey is the author of the national and international bestseller The Island of Lost Maps and the recipient of a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship. His book Painter in a Savage Land was named a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year. He teaches at DePaul University.

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