Zinta Aistars

Host of 'Between The Lines'/Freelancer

Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.

Aistars is creative director, writer, and editor at Z Word, LLC. She's also the published author of three books in her native Latvian language. Aistars regularly contributes to many print and online publications in addition to freelancing for WMUK.

Beowulf Sheehan

What if you could erase painful memories forever? But if you did, you lost the good memories as well as the bad? In his long-awaited novel, Hystopia (MacMillan, 2016), David Means creates an alternate history in which veterans returning from war have their trauma “enfolded” to erase painful memories.

But for some veterans, the process doesn't work because their trauma goes too deep. Means, who grew up in Kalamazoo, sets the novel in Michigan although he now lives in New York.

Dawn Cochran

Erna Roberts was only 22, and expecting her first of four daughters, when she watched Soviet tanks roll down the streets of Latvia’s capitol city, Riga. In the coming days, she would lose her home, her family would scatter, and the life she had known would be gone forever. Her mother, grandfather, and 16-year-old brother were captured and deported to Siberia. Her father went into hiding in the woods. Erna and her husband became refugees overnight.

Convergent Books

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2,220,300 adults are incarcerated in federal and state prisons. In 2013, the Michigan Department of Corrections reported a prison population of 43,704. The United States has the largest prison population in the world. And our recidivism rate is around 70 percent. “That’s another way of saying our prison system is failing 70 percent of the time,” says Shaka Senghor.

University of Michigan Press

Women who performed at the WOW Café Theater on New York City's Lower East Side sometimes called themselves the "Uncooperative Cooperative." Holly Hughes was one of those women. She's said more than once that WOW saved her life.

Stacy Sodolak

In some ways, Dominic Smith says novelists are like forgers. Both fake reality. Both create new worlds out of elements of the real world. In his fourth and latest novel, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos (Sarah Crichton Books, April 2016), Smith introduces readers to the world of a master forger, bringing history to life.