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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: March 27, 2003

Marvin Arnett reading April 8

DEARBORN---The African and African American Studies program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn will host a reading, book signing and reception for author Marvin Arnett from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8 in Room 1030 of the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters Building.

The event is free and open to the public.

Arnett

Arnett's memoir Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt is being published April 1 by University of Nebraska Press as part of its American Lives series featuring books of literary nonfiction.

Copies of her book will be available at the UM-Dearborn event at a discounted rate.

"We wanted to be the first to officially celebrate this woman who has written beautifully about her memories of Black family, love and community in Detroit," according to Deborah Smith Pollard, associate professor of English at UM-Dearborn and director of the campus's African and African American Studies Program.

Arnett is a former student of UM-Dearborn's Retired Persons Scholarship Program, which offers retirees the opportunity to attend classes alongside traditional-aged undergraduates.

It was Arnett's professors at UM-Dearborn who encouraged her to begin writing professionally.

"I dropped out of the program after meeting creative writing Professor Bill Linn to work on my memoir with his encouragement and assistance," according to Arnett. "So you see, my book was really 'born' at UM-Dearborn."

Arnett's memoir is composed of 30 related essays that tell her story as a young African-American girl born and raised in Detroit, beginning with her birth during the Great Depression, moving through World War II and ending with the Detroit race riot of 1943.

Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt won the 2001 African American-Authors Helping Authors Best Nonfiction Book Award.

Arnett is a retired manager who worked in the federal government for more than 25 years and is a former vice president of the National Organization of Blacks in Government. She lives in Southfield, where she lectures and tutors.

Funding for the event has been provided by a diversity grant from the Office of the Provost at UM-Dearborn.

For more information about the event, contact Pollard at (313) 593-5213.

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