Coming Events | Prior Appearances | News
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 6 p.m. (via Skype)
The Grand Ledge Area District Library
131 Jefferson St.
Grand Ledge, Michigan
Steve will speak, and answer questions, via Skype as part of the Library’s annual “Author in the Garden Room” series.
** Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 1 p.m.–3 p.m.
21st annual Michigan Recipient Rights Conference
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Steve will deliver one of the keynote addresses. (** This is not a public event. Please click here for more information about how to register for the conference.)
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6 p.m.
Sturgis District Library
255 North St.
The Sturgis District Library has chosen Annie’s Ghosts as its 2014 “One Book, One County” selection.
** Sunday, October 26, 2014
Hilton Frontenac Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
Steve is one of the keynote speakers at the annual conference of the Association of Personal Historians. (** This is not a public event. Please click here for more information about the conference.)
Friday, May 23, 2014
Kickoff speaker for the Darcy Library’s annual “Off the Page” author series.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
The gala evening finale for the Great Michigan Read, co-hosted by the Ferndale Library as part of its Ferndale Reads (One Book/One Community) program. Held at the Rust Belt Market. Steve would like to give a special thanks to the Michigan Humanities Council and its staff for their support and hard work in putting together the Great Michigan Read author tour. During the past nine months, Steve’s appearances at two dozen events drew more than 3,000 readers and started a statewide conversation about the book’s themes. Thousands more came to book club discussions throughout the state, as well as to events featuring speakers other than Steve.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
A Great Michigan Read morning event at Westland Library, near the hospital where Steve’s secret aunt, Annie, spent 31 years.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Farmington Hills, Michigan
A moderated conversation, at the Holocaust Memorial Center, with Steve and Dana Nemeth, director of the Wood County (Ohio) Historical Museum and Center. Co-sponsored by the Great Michigan Read.
Wednesday, May 21, 2104
West Bloomfield, Michigan
A special “Lunch and Learn” event, jointly sponsored by the Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit and the Great Michigan Read.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
An evening presentation co-sponsored by the Ionia County Community Mental Health agency, the Belding Memorial Library and the Great Michigan Read.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
St. Joseph High School
St. Joseph, Michigan
A One Book/One Community event, sponsored by the Maud Preston Palenske Library of St. Joseph with a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and the Great Michigan Read.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Spring Lake District Library
Spring Lake, Michigan
A Great Michigan Read event, sponsored by the Library.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Traverse Area District Library
Traverse City, Michigan
A Great Michigan Read event, in collaboration with the Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority and the Library.
Tuesday, April 9, 2014
Front Street Writers
Traverse City, Michigan
Steve led a discussion at Front Street Writers, a program that aims to support local high school students and their writing. Proceeds from the National Writers Series events helps to fund Front Street Writers. Doug Stanton, a Traverse City native and bestselling author, is the founder of both the Writers Series and Front Street Writers.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The National Writers Series
City Opera House
Traverse City, Michigan
This event, jointly sponsored by the Great Michigan Read, featured Steve in conversation with Mardi Jo Link, whose latest book is Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm. Mardi lives in Traverse City.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Otsego County Library
The library chose Annie’s Ghosts as its Community Read for this year.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Interlochen Center for the Arts
Steve taught a master class on narrative nonfiction to high school students majoring in writing at the Interlochen school.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
A talk sponsored by the college’s Pageturners Book Club. Earlier in the day, Steve did a guest lecture/workshop with history and English students.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
A Great Michigan Read event at Swan Valley High School, featuring student interviewers and a companion talk from Linda Tilot, of the Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Two Great Michigan Read events:
Castle Museum (co-sponsored by the Public Libraries of Saginaw).
Grace A. Dow Memorial Library
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Bayliss Public Library
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
Two Great Michigan Read events.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Performing Arts Center
Boyne City, Michigan
Annie’s Ghosts was the 2013 selection for “One Book, One Community-Boyne Reads.”
Steve spoke at two events in this northern Michigan town, including an afternoon talk for a student assembly and an evening discussion for a general audience, both sponsored by the Boyne District Library.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 12 noon-2 p.m.
Soaring Eagle Conference Center
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Steve delivered the keynote speech at the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Board’s fall conference.
Friday-Saturday, October 4-5, 2013
North Star Family History Conference
Steve was the keynote speaker at the 6th annual conference, hosted by the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Click here to see the two-day schedule.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 6 p.m.
The Newberry Library
Steve joined two noted authors for an evening of conversation about the consequences of family secrets: Deborah Cohen, a historian and author of the recently-released Family Secrets: Living With Shame from the Victorians to the Present Day, and Emma Brockes, a journalist and author of the memoir, She Left Me the Gun.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Portage District Library
A Great Michigan Read appearance in western Michigan. Radio host Dave Jaconette, from 1340 KJRW in Kalamazoo, moderated a conversation about the art of writing historical nonfiction and fiction. Steve was joined by D.E. Jackson, author of a series on mystery novels set in Detroit during the early 20th century. Co-sponsored by the Portage Library and Kazoo Books.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Michigan Historical Center
The kickoff event for the 2013-2014 Great Michigan Read featured a conversation about the writing of personal stories, with Steve and Mardi Jo Link, author of Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
A Great Michigan Read event at Pinckney Community High School, featuring student interviewers and Jennifer White, local host of All Things Considered on Michigan Public Radio.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania
The Blue Ridge Summit Library’s Meet the Author series
December 4, 2012
Keynote speaker, annual meeting of North Coast Community Homes, a nonprofit group in Cleveland that provides housing to people living with developmental disabilities or mental illness.
December 1, 2012
Keynote speaker, Maryland Genealogical Society annual lunch.
June 7-9, 2012
Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel
Steve was a featured speaker at the Family History Writers Conference and the 43rd annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
National Archives, Washington, DC
Steve signed copies of Annie’s Ghosts at the National Archives’s Eighth Annual Genealogy Fair, a two-day event that drew more than 5,000 people for workshops and tours of the Archives.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Speaker, Goucher College, graduate students in the Creative Nonfiction writers’ program
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Speaker, the Wednesday Morning Group lecture series
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Steve delivered the 10th annual Jessica Cole Henderson memorial lecture, sponsored by Jessica’s parents and the Rochester chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Fairfax Genealogical Society
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Mount Vernon Genealogical Society
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Speaker, L'Hirondelle Club monthly luncheon
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Keynote speech at the 8th annual "Celebrating Recovery" dinner of Neighborhood Properties, which provides housing for people who are homeless and living with a mental illness. The dinner is held each May as part of Mental Health Month.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Vero Beach, Florida
For its first “One Community/One Read” event, the Indian River County Public Library chose Annie’s Ghosts. The library sponsored book club discussions and other activities during January and February, culminating with Steve’s personal appearance for a book talk and signing at the Richardson Conference Center on the campus of Indian River State College in Vero Beach.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Lauderhill, Florida (Mental Health Association of Broward County)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Towson Literary Reading Series
Friday, October 22, 2010
Annual Authors’ Night, “Words & Wine” fundraiser
Catonsville Public Library
Friday, October 22, 2010
Novi High School
Steve spoke at an assembly with 400 students
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Novi Public Library
The Neighborhood Library Association, a consortium of five local libraries serving suburban townships northwest of Detroit, chose Annie’s Ghosts as its first Community Read. Throughout September and October, the Salem-South Lyon, Novi, Northville, Wixom and Lyon Township libraries hosted events and presentations about various aspects of the book. The six weeks of activities concluded with a talk by Steve.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Wayne Public Library
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Steve delivered the 10th annual Horace W. Davenport Lecture in the Medical Humanities, sponsored by the university’s Center for the History of Medicine. The lecture series honors a renowned professor who was chairman of the medical school’s physiology department for 22 years and did pioneering work on digestion.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Luncheon speaker, Mental Illness Awareness Week annual event sponsored by Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare of Orlando.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Michigan Supreme Court 2010 Judicial Conference
Steve and Judge Milton Mack of the Wayne County Probate Court in Detroit led a discussion about mental health issues.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Part of the university’s 2010-2011 Humanities Forum, an annual speakers series featuring authors and others. Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and the UMBC Retriever, the campus newspaper.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Kerrytown Book Fest at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Friday, July 2, 2010
National Alliance on Mental Illness's 2010 convention
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The New Mercury Reading Series
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Hill
Mental Health America’s 2010 Annual Conference
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Bain Center
Friday, May 14, 2010
Mott Children’s Health Center
Thursday, May 13, 2010
West Bloomfield, Michigan
West Bloomfield Township Public Library
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Dearborn Inn Conference Center
Closing plenary speech for the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology’s annual conference, Issues in Aging.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Penn State College of Medicine
Hershey Medical Center
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Roland Park Country School
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Reception and awards ceremony for the 2010 Michigan Notable Books winners
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Royal Oak, Michigan
At the Royal Oak Library, sponsored by the Michigan Notable Book Awards
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday-Sunday, March 26-28, 2010
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Writers at the Beach: Pure Sea Glass conference,
keynote speaker and workshop leader
Sunday, March 21, 2010
New York City
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Walt Disney World
The 40th National Mental Health and Addictions Conference & Expo
Monday, March 15, 2010
Winter Park, FL
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
La Jolla, CA
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Thousand Oaks, CA
Thursday, March 4, 2010
San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Boca Raton, FL
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Bel Air, MD
Bel Air branch, Harford County Public Library
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
Saturday, December 5, 2009
St. John’s Georgetown Episcopal Church
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Bel Air, MD
Barnes and Noble Bookstore
Monday, November 23, 2009
Chevy Chase, MD
Village of Friendship Heights Center
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Brooklyn Branch, Enoch Pratt Library
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Farmington Hills, MI
Sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan
Thursday, November 12, 2009
West Bloomfield, MI
Detroit Jewish Book Fair
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Ann Arbor, MI
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Oak Park, MI
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Keynote speaker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s 5th annual Washington gala, “Unmasking Mental Illness.”
Sunday, September 27, 2009
14th annual Baltimore Book Festival
Saturday, September 26, 2009
10th annual Narrative Matters conference, sponsored by journal Health Affairs
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
The Carter Center
Keynote speaker at the annual dinner for new and former journalism fellows of the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Barnes and Noble
Friday, September 11, 2009
Keynote Speaker at the annual meeting of the Mental Health Association of Maryland.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The Community House
Monday, July 6, 2009
Public Library of Westland
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
WAMU, 88.5 FM in DC
The Diane Rehm Show
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The Harvard Coop
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
New York City, NY
Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Enoch Pratt Central Library
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Red Canoe Bookstore and Café
January 4, 2011
The secret is out: The Buffalo News has announced Annie’s Ghosts as its January 2011 selection for the Buffalo News Book Club. Anne Neville’s article about the book calls it “a gripping story of shame, secrets and identity.” Buffalo-area bookstores and libraries have received posters and bookmarks to promote the selection, and five readers will win a signed copy in a giveaway. Steve also has offered to participate, via Skype or phone, in a local book club discussion.
December 7, 2010:
Question: What's warm about Buffalo in January? Answer: The Buffalo News picking Annie's Ghosts as the January 2011 choice for the Buffalo News Book Club. As part of this monthly feature, the newspaper highlights noteworthy and bestselling books by publishing an interview with the author, and by sending posters and bookmarks to Buffalo area bookstores and libraries. Also, for Annie’s Ghosts, a new element: Steve has offered to participate, via phone or Skype, in a local book group discussion. The newspaper will select the book club through a random drawing. The Buffalo News began the Book Club in 2003.
October 21, 2010
A crowd of nearly 200 jammed the meeting room at the Novi Public Library in Michigan last week to hear Steve Luxenberg talk about Annie’s Ghosts. His book was selected as the first Community Read by the Neighborhood Library Association, a consortium of five libraries serving suburban townships north and west of Detroit. Throughout September and October, the Novi, Northville, Salem-South Lyon, Wixom and Lyon Township libraries hosted events and presentations inspired by the book’s themes.
October 19, 2010
Steve Luxenberg delivered the 10th annual Horace W. Davenport Lecture in the Medical Humanities at the University of Michigan. Steve gave his talk, “Every Generation: Family Secrets and Their Consequences,” at the Hatcher Graduate Library, drawing a diverse crowd of students, professors and medical professionals.
August 16, 2010
The Kerrytown BookFest has announced the final lineup for its 8th annual celebration in Ann Arbor, Mich. Steve will join more than 40 other authors for a day of talks, panel discussions, book signings, workshops, exhibitor booths and children’s activities. At 1 p.m., Steve will participate in a discussion called “Remembering and Forgetting: The Art of the Memoir” and then he will sign copies of Annie’s Ghosts. There is no admission charge for the festival.
August 6, 2010
The Neighborhood Library Association, a consortium of five local libraries serving suburban townships northwest of Detroit, has chosen Annie’s Ghosts as its first Community Read. Throughout September and October, the libraries will host events and presentations about various aspects of the book. Residents of the townships of Salem-South Lyon, Novi, Northville, Wixom and Lyon Township will be encouraged to read and then discuss the book at six sessions hosted by the local libraries. The six weeks of activities will concluded with a talk and book signing by Steve on Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m., at the Novi Public Library.
July 16, 2010
Syndicated columnist Susan Estrich features Annie’s Ghosts in a column on family secrets, praising Steve Luxenberg for his “moving and honest” account of his secret’s aunt’s unknown life. “Secrets,” she writes, “get in the way of true family, covering with shame the very relationships that need to be nourished with honesty.”
July 6, 2010
Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin on Annie’s Ghosts: An “arresting tale about the aunt he never knew. . .” Rubin’s column focused on Edward Missavage, a psychiatrist at Eloise Hospital who helped Steve with his research and then continued to look for information about Annie’s time at the institution. (Update, July 10: Ed Missavage died today at age 85. Click here to read a letter that Steve wrote for the memorial service held July 17)
June 30, 2010
On “Maryland Morning,” NPR affiliate WYPR’s daily news show, host Sheilah Kast talks with Steve Luxenberg about his recent op-ed on the coming clash between privacy and history. As researchers learn more and more about the genetic basis for physical and mental conditions, Steve’s op-ed argued, medical records for the long-deceased should be made easier to obtain. Part two of an interview taped earlier this month.
June 27, 2010
The Buffalo News picks Annie’s Ghosts for its summer beach reading list of 19 fiction and nonfiction books “waiting to be savored one by one as the wave-washed days ticked by.” The News writes: A Washington Post journalist offers a fascinating family memoir and thrilling detective story in this engrossing tale of his search to learn why his mother kept secret the fact that she had a disabled sister who was sent to an insane asylum at the age of 21.”
June 8, 2010
Sold: The first foreign rights for a translated version of Annie's Ghosts. Italian publisher Casini Editore plans to bring out the book later this year or early next. Watch this space for other foreign deals.
June 7, 2010
On “Maryland Morning,” NPR affiliate WYPR’s daily news show, host Sheilah Kast interviewed Steve Luxenberg about the new health care law’s expansion of mental health services. Click here to listen to the audio.
May 24, 2010
Sunday’s Detroit Free Press featured Steve Luxenberg’s op-ed, headlined “Dead and Gone and Still Private,” about the high walls that prevent family members from gaining access to the medical records of long-dead ancestors. “The recent trend toward greater restrictions on medical and mental health records has done something rare,” Luxenberg wrote. “It has conferred rights upon the dead. These rights have created an imbalance between our desire for privacy and our desire to know our own history.”
May 18, 2010
Today’s Grand Rapids Press featured a lengthy profile of Steve Luxenberg. He speaks tomorrow night at the Grand Rapids Public Library as part of his four-city Michigan Notable Book tour. Steve appeared recently at the Springfield Township Library and at the Royal Oak Library, and will visit the Stair Public Library in Morenci, on the Michigan-Ohio border, on May 20.
April 23, 2010
The award-winning Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secrets, described by one reviewer as “beautifully complex, raw and revealing,” comes out in paperback with a May 11 publication date and a list price of $15.99. Bookstores may have copies earlier, in time for Mother’s Day, and online booksellers (including amazon.com and bn.com) are accepting pre-orders at a discounted price. Author Steve Luxenberg is making several apperarances in Michigan and elsewhere after the paperback launch. Check the Events section above for the dates and times.
December 23, 2009
The Washington Post picked Annie’s Ghosts for its year-end Best Books of 2009 list. In honoring Annie’s Ghosts as one of the year's best memoirs, The Post book editors focused on Luxenberg's grace and care in researching and telling his story, quoting from Barry Werth's review: “A probing, wise and affecting memoir of family secrets and posthumous absolution.” The Post compiled the Best Books list for its Holiday Gift Guide, offering suggestions to readers hunting for literary presents.
December 11, 2009
The Library of Michigan named Annie’s Ghosts as a Michigan Notable Book for 2010, one of 20 books honored. The Notable Book award goes to nonfiction and fiction books, including children’s books, published in 2009 that employed "vivid storytelling" to draw portraits of the state, its people and its history, said Nancy Robertson, the state librarian. The citation praised Annie’s Ghosts as a “complex blend of research, cultural mores and a long-past Detroit. . . . [Luxenberg’s] story becomes a story that belongs to all of us.” Throughout 2010, the Library of Michigan sponsors a statewide tour of the books, featuring author talks, book signings and special displays at libraries and bookstores.
November 27, 2009
The Diane Rehm Show, which airs on more than 130 NPR affiliates, chose its June interview with Steve Luxenberg for re-broadcast.
November 12, 2009
A sold-out “Brunch With the Authors” brought a crowd of more than 200 to hear Steve and two other authors at the 58th annual Detroit Jewish Book Fair. At Steve’s other three apperances in Detroit and Ann Arbor during the same week, those in the audience shared their own stories and asked Steve for specifics about the routes he took in uncovering the documents that helped him write Annie’s Ghosts.
October 21, 2009: Richard Handler, writing in his online column called “The Ideas Guy” for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, contrasted the story told in Annie’s Ghosts to those revealed recently by TV late show host David Letterman and actress Mackenzie Phillips on the “confessional couch,” as Handler puts it. “Ordinary people have plenty of family secrets, too,” he wrote in describing why he found Annie’s Ghosts to be compelling. “Even if that eats them up inside and distorts their most intimate relationships.” Click here to read Handler’s column.
October 14, 2009
Steve delivered the keynote speech at the National Alliance on the Mentally Ill’s 5th annual “Unmasking Mental Illness” gala. The event, emceed by CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, drew about 400. Steve’s talk, “Losing an Identity, Finding a Voice,” focused on how privacy laws have hurt the effort to decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness.
September 27, 2009
Today’s Parade Magazine carried a Newsmaker interview with Steve, headlined “How We Think About Mental Illness.” Asked about his difficulty in obtaining the medical records of his secret aunt, who died in 1972, Steve said: “If we shut off medical records of people long deceased, we’re locking up information that families… ought to know.”
The published interview’s four questions and answers came from a lengthy interview conducted by Parade writer Sharon Male. Parade appears in more than 500 Sunday and weekly newspapers.
September 25, 2009
Annie’s Ghosts makes the list: The Independent Booksellers’ Fall ‘09/Winter ’10 list of recommendations for reading groups. The book appears as one of three selections in the “A-List for Nonfiction” category. Valerie Koehler, owner of the Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, writes: “Luxenberg's journalistic approach to discovering the truth about his aunt is fascinating, as he mines the underlying story of secrets and their effects on families. A great reading group nonfiction pick.”
September 24, 2009
On Sunday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m., the 14th annual Baltimore Book Festival welcomes Steve Luxenberg, author of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, for an hour-long conversation and book signing. Steve will appear on the CityLit stage, where book critic Susan McCallum-Smith will interview him and lead a discussion about the craft of memoir writing. The Baltimore Book Festival runs from Friday, Sept. 25 through Sunday, Sept. 27, and features 120 authors from all genres. This year’s authors include Buzz Aldrin, James McBride, Farai Chideya and Gwen Ifill.
September 19, 2009
The Newseum’s “Inside Media” series hosted Steve for a discussion of his three decades in journalism and how his investigative reporting skills influenced his approach to researching and writing Annie’s Ghosts. The Newseum—a 250,000-square-foot multi-media experience—blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The Newseum’s Maureen Freeman questioned Steve, who then took questions from the audience.
September 14, 2009
Steve, as the dinner speaker at the annual meeting for journalism fellows at Carter Center’s Mental Health Program, spoke on the difficulties posed by confidentiality laws for those researching mental health issues. The Carter Center, in Atlanta, awards ten fellowships a year to support American and international journalists working on projects about mental health. Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady, created the fellowship program in 1996.
September 12, 2009
Steve signed copies of Annie’s Ghosts at the Barnes and Noble store in Towson, Maryland. He joined 20 other local authors of nonfiction, fiction and children’s books for a busy Saturday afternoon of the literary kind.
September 11, 2009
Steve delivered the keynote speech today at the annual meeting of the Maryland Mental Health Association, Baltimore branch. His talk, titled “Every Generation: Evolutions and Echoes in Mental Health,” focused the changing nature of mental health treatment over the past 75 years as the states closed the large asylums that once dominated the system and the courts backed more rights for patients.
August 27, 2009
If you ever thought about exploring your own family history, Steve’s article in Ancestry Magazine will make the mission seem less daunting. Researching Annie’s Ghosts involved missteps as well as successes, and he reveals both. Ancestry’s editors chose a silver-lining approach in describing the piece: “Bad luck turns good when it sends you in a new direction, and leads you to the answer you were looking for.” (The magazine is published by the company that owns the popular genealogy website, Ancestry.com.)
August 26, 2009
On “Detroit Today,” the daily news and talk show that airs on Detroit Public Radio (WDET, 101.9 FM), host Craig Fahle questioned Steve about extracting information from Michigan’s mental health system, about piecing together his aunt’s unknown life and about secrecy’s consequences. Fahle described the book as a “gripping” read. Click here to enter information to replay the show from the WDET archives. (Tip: Where it says “Select a show,” enter “Detroit Today” from the pull-down menu. Where it says select a date, enter 8-26-09 from the pull-down). The interview occurs midway through the first hour, at 1:30 p.m.
August 14, 2009
Laura Laing, writing in the Baltimore Jewish Times, described Annie’s Ghosts as a book that delves deeply into “the complexity” of family secrets. She reported that some readers have told Steve that the book has allowed them to broach sensitive topics in their own families. “They tell me that the book has helped them,” she quoted Steve as saying, based on her interview with him.
July 25, 2009
LibraryThing, a website for book readers, invited Steve to write a piece for its July newsletter on “five books to read this summer.” Steve also is hosting an “author chat” with LibraryThing members from July 15-29. (Click here to read the chat. If you want to leave a comment or ask a question, you need to become a LibraryThing member.)
July 18, 2009
“On the Media,” a weekly show produced by WNYC and broadcast by NPR affiliates, included an eight-minute segment on Annie’s Ghosts. Read the transcript of co-host Bob Garfield’s interview with Steve about his dual role as journalist and son, and how that affected his investigation into his mother’s motivations. (The transcript page includes a clickable link to play the audio file of the interview.)
July 7, 2009
An overflow crowd of 200 came to the Birmingham Community House, north of Detroit, to hear Steve give a talk about Annie’s Ghosts, sponsored by Jewish Senior Life and the Program for Holocaust Survivors and Families. Some of the people in the book were in the audience, including social worker Rozanne Sedler from Jewish Family Service, who opened the door to the secret at the center of the book with her phone call in 1995, asking, “Does your mom have a sister?”
July 6, 2009
Steve drew a crowd of 75 to his talk at the Westland Library, which is located about two miles from Eloise, the former mental hospital where Steve’s secret aunt spent 31 years. Many in the audience either had worked at Eloise, or knew someone who had been a patient there.
July 2, 2009
The Jewish Book Council, the national coordinator for the annual Jewish book fairs held around the country, chose Steve as a speaker for the coming year. He will travel to events in Michigan, California, Florida and Maryland.
July 1, 2009
Metro Times, a Detroit weekly, published a wide-ranging interview with Steve, conducted by staff writer Sandra Svoboda. She singles out Annie’s Ghosts as“a moving narrative about how universal forces of history shaped” one particular family's experience.
July 1, 2009
Urbanite magazine, a Baltimore monthly, featured Annie’s Ghosts as a “critics’ pick” in its July issue. “Annie’s Ghosts moves with the slow-gathering force of a police procedural; the author methodically gathers facts, unearths informants, and compares accounts from his mother’s network of surviving friends, circling the terrible moment in 1940 when Annie was hospitalized forever,” writes David Dudley, the Urbanite’s editor, in his article.
June 9, 2009
Steve appeared at the the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. for an hour-long discussion about how families cope with disabilities. Steve was joined by Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of Boy Alone: A Brother’s Memoir, his story of growing up with an autistic brother. Aspen Institute president Walter Isaacson moderated the discussion.
June 9, 2009
The Diane Rehm Show
Diane Rehm interviewed Steve at her WAMU studio in Washington DC and took questions from listeners. The show was broadcast live across the country on NPR.
May 31, 2009
Mary Carole McCauley, writing for the Baltimore Sun, wrote a profile of Steve and a review of Annie’s Ghosts. The feature piece explores the balance between Steve’s responsibilities as a journalist and as a son. In the review, McCauley says “Annie’s Ghosts is an exhaustively researched, often moving testament to the ties that bind families together.”
May 26, 2009
A live interview with Steve aired on NewsChannel 8, Washington’s 24-hour cable news outlet. Doug McKelway, co-host of “Let’s Talk Live,” explored the consequences of family secrets during a five-minute segment on the daily noon-time show.
May 23, 2009
To bring to life some of the places that Steve visited during his research for Annie’s Ghosts, Kyle Norris of Michigan Public Radio did a walking tour with him through the neighborhood where Steve’s mom lived with Annie in the 1930s, and then through the last remaining building of the 75 that once housed the huge hospital complex known as Eloise, Annie’s home for 31 years. Listen to Kyle Norris’s four-minute story, “Steve Luxenberg’s Quest.”
May 16, 2009
A Washington Post review, by Barry Werth, described Annie’s Ghosts as a “probing, wise and affecting new memoir of family secrets and posthumous absolution . . . a poignant investigative exercise, full of empathy and sorrowful truth.”
May 12, 2009
WYPR-FM, the NPR affiliate in Baltimore, broadcast an hour-long interview with Steve on “Midday,” its public affairs show.
May 11, 2009
A review by Susan McCallum-Smith, a Baltimore writer, aired on the “Maryland Morning” show of WYPR-FM, the NPR affiliate. McCallum-Smith called Annie’s Ghosts an “engaging investigative memoir [that] proves, as the best nonfiction does, that true facts about true lives need no embellishments to be startling or moving.”
May 5, 2009
NPR's "All Things Considered" aired an eight-minute interview with Steve about Annie's Ghosts. Listen to co-host Robert Siegel's interview, and read NPR's online coverage, headlined "A Journalist Uncovers His Family's 'Ghosts'."
May 1, 2009
Library Journal names Annie’s Ghosts as one of 50 summer memoirs worth reading. “A fascinating detective story that will appeal to anyone who has ever had a family member with mental illness or had their assumptions about family tested by a secret revealed,” writes Elizabeth Brinkley in her recommendation.
March 15, 2009
The Washington Post Magazine published "The Interpreter," an excerpt from Annie's Ghosts. It tells the dramatic story of how Anna Oliwek, Steve's cousin, survived the Holocaust by posing as a German—an experience that shapes her view when she eventually learns of the family secret at the center of Annie's Ghosts.