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Award-winning essayist Kathleen Stocking discusses her new memoir, The Long Arc of the Universe – Travels Beyond the Pale, July 28, 7 p.m. at the Glen Arbor Art Association, 6031 S. Lake St., Glen Arbor. The summer edition of the GAAA’s “Talk About Art” series brings the Leelanau County writer back to her home turf to discuss the world travels that became this new work of creative nonfiction. “Talk About Art”®, now in its eighth year, is a series of free conversational interviews with area artists. No reservations are required.
The Long Arc of the Universe, published in 2016, is the newest installment in a trilogy of collected essays. The first book, Letters from the Leelanau in 1991, stays close to home on the Leelanau Peninsula. Lake Country in 1994 explores the author’s experiences from Ann Arbor to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. Like the two previous books, this one begins in, and always returns to, Lake Leelanau. However, in The Long Arc of the Universe, Stocking takes us all over the world: to California, where she taught writing in the state prison system; to El Salvador, where she taught the children of the ruling oligarchs; to Thailand and Romania, where she was a teacher mentor with the Peace Corps; and to London, to research her family’s English roots.
Stocking grew up above Sleeping Bear Bay in Glen Arbor, the daughter of lumberman Pierce Stocking, a veteran of the Civilian Conservation Corps, whose name graces the scenic drive in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and Eleanor Stocking, the head of the English Department at the Traverse City High School through the 1960s and 1970s. Stocking holds a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She has received numerous awards over the years for her writing. Stocking’s essays have been paired with work by E. B. White and Annie Dillard in four major college textbooks and praised for her easy-going style and pithy observations.