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Author Lecture Series Begins Monday, February 11

HANCOCK, MI - Finlandia University and Hancock Central High School will present the first of a series of seven free, public author lectures on Monday, February 11, 2013, at 4:15 p.m., at Finlandia's Maki Library, when author Mark Mustian will read from and discuss his historical novel, "The Gendarme."

The lectures series features a variety of writers and genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It is presented in conjunction with the Finlandia course ENG 203, Write on the Edge.

Suzanne Van Dam, associate professor of English at Finlandia, explains that the lecture series' theme, "Write on the Edge," is intended to address questions such as: How do authors determine the threshold between fact and fiction?  Where do they find inspiration? How do writers create characters and images that are beyond ordinary?  How do they write about historical events that many may find hard to imagine?

"The Gendarme" is the university's spring 2013 Campus Read selection. Set alternately in early 20th century Turkey and in the U.S. in the 1990s, the novel relates the story of what has become known as the Armenian Genocide through the story of World War I Turkish veteran Emmet Conn, now 92 years old.

The Florida Times-Union praises the book, saying, "Mustian takes us through this horrendous period of history with objectivity. He does not assign blame. What emerges is a love story, one that transcends the misery of the human condition, forever changing everyone it touches."

Mustian will be on the Finlandia campus February 11 and 12, 2013, to speak in several classes and engage in other campus and community activities. His visit is sponsored by Finlandia University and the Lutheran Writers Project at Roanoke College.

All subsequent lectures in the series will take place at the Finlandia University Chapel of St. Matthew.

February 19, Hugh Gorman, professor of social science at Michigan Technological University, will discuss his soon-to-be-published book "The Story of N: A Social History of the Nitrogen Cycle and the Challenge of Sustainability."

February 26, fiction author Danielle Sosin of Duluth will read from her novel "The Long-Shining Waters," which is set on Lake Superior.

March 14, fiction writer John Smolens, professor of English at Northern Michigan University, will present a talk titled, "History: The Ultimate Fiction."

March 19, a panel discussion, entitled Cruelty & Conflict, will explore genocide and violence around the world. Panelists are Paul Schue of Northland College, Bob Johnson of Michigan Tech, and Lauri Anderson and Bill Knoblauch of Finlandia.

March 26, poet Randy Freisinger, Michigan Tech emeritus humanities professor, will read and discuss his work in a talk titled, "Words Nibbling at the Edge of Something Vast: A Few Postscripts for the Blue-Eyed Straw Lady in the Front Row."

April 9, the series concludes with student flash readings and announcement of the winner of Finlandia's Campus Read writing contest.

For additional information, contact Suzanne Van Dam at 906-487-7515 or