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Purged: The Art of Metamorphosis chronicles artist Nancy J. Rodwan's multi-year project of taking unwanted items cast off by friends, loved ones, and acquaintances, and transforming them into art. Rodwan reworked everyday goods like clothing, kitchen utensils, obsolete electronics, books, toys, and car parts into paintings, sculptures, fiber art, assemblages, and collages — as well as into provocative meditations on Americans' relationships with their stuff. In addition to before-and-after photos of each donated thing and the artwork it became, this volume — a companion to the Purged exhibition mounted in a Detroit-area gallery in spring 2018 — contains Rodwan’s thoughts on the back stories of the objects given to her and/or descriptions of her process of recreating them. It also features original contributions by writers Maia Asshaq, Terry Blackhawk, Andrea Daniel, and Bill Harris.

Detroit Is offers a very personal depiction of an often misrepresented and maligned place. It presents multiple, diverse, contrasting aspects of the complex city.

J. Gordon Rodwan's photographs show sides of the city that many people — residents and non residents alike — often miss rather than reproducing images already widely seen. They don't ignore the dilapidated parts of the city, but they don't fetishise those elements either. Instead, Rodwan juxtaposes them with images capturing efforts to cultivate and sustain creativity and vibrancy in place where too many expect to see only relics or despair. Neither "ruin porn" nor an equally distorted boosterish presentation of only the positive, Detroit Is offers a highly individual look at what it's like to live in Detroit.

Complementing the photographs are an introductory essay and poems by the photographer's son, John G. Rodwan, Jr.

Holidays and Other Disasters considers the major U.S. holidays — Easter, Christmas, Opening Day, etc. — from an atheist's perspective. It examines explicitly religious holidays, those that have a definite if not always acknowledged religious thrust (Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving) and secular holidays that had religious elements added on (like Labor Day) by way of personal stories, usually the author's own. Where other people have especially revealing holiday stories, as is the case with Jack Johnson (the first black heavyweight champion) and the Fourth of July, novelist Salman Rushdie and Valentine's Day or labor leader Eugene V. Debs and Labor Day, Rodwan tells theirs. Of course, holidays aren't about religion alone, and Holidays and Other Disasters doesn't look narrowly at them as pageants of piety. Rather, the book considers the various issues holidays raise, including race and class, and discusses other forms of expressive activity, such as literature, music and sports, along with religion and holiday rituals.

Fighters & Writers is neither a traditional sports book nor a conventional collection of literary essays. The title essay surveys a selection of the mammoth body of literature involving boxing in addition to writing on closely related topics such as confidence games. "The Ali Act" considers writers' undiminished interest in one extraordinary boxer. "The Fighting Life" looks at two prominent writers' use of boxing in their fiction. "A First-Class Sport" assesses boxing's frequently overlooked positive aspects by examining the memoirs and autobiographies of several boxing enthusiasts, including a former heavyweight champion, a well-known trainer and television analyst, and prominent public figures including a former president and a U.S. senator. Other pieces in the collection explore how boxing inserts itself in writers' imaginations even when they write about other subjects. Essays on diverse topics such as book dedications, Orwell's Spanish Civil War memories, digressions, tattoos and losing weight reveal the close, if not always recognized, connections between fighters and writers.