Ann Cummins

Southwest Book Reviewer

Ann Cummins is Professor of Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University.  She has published stories in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Antioch Review, and elsewhere; her fiction has been anthologized in a variety of series including The Best American Short Stories, The Prentice Hall Anthology of Women’s Literature, and The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories.  A 2002 recipient of a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, she is the author of the short story collection Red Ant House, (Houghton Mifflin, spring, 2003) and the novel Yellowcake (Houghton Mifflin, 2007).

Southwest Book Reviews
8:17 am
Fri May 17, 2013

KNAU's Southwest Book Review: Pam Houston's, Contents May Have Shifted

Author, Pam Houston

It's hard to put a label on author Pam Houston's books. The prize-winning writer blends together fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Houston will be in Flagstaff this weekend headlining the Northern Arizona Book Festival. In KNAU's latest Southwest Book Review, writer Ann Cummins reviews Houston's latest novel, Contents May Have Shifted, the true story of an imaginary character named Pam Houston.

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Southwest Book Reviews
5:19 am
Tue February 19, 2013

KNAU's Latest Southwest Book Review: Little Raw Souls

Colorado Book Award winner Steven Schwartz has said that in a fast-paced world "fiction restores us" to a softer place in our lives. Schwartz has just published his third short story collection, Little Raw Souls. And in KNAU's latest Southwest Book Review, writer Ann Cummins calls the collection "a gem".

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Southwest Book Reviews
5:51 am
Fri December 21, 2012

A Few Southwest Book Suggestions for Young Readers

Need a gift for a young reader? Arizona’s Book Reviewer, writer Ann Cummins has a few suggestions that have a southwestern flair.

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Southwest Book Reviews
4:00 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Southwest Book Review: "Riders of the Purple Sage" by Zane Grey

Title page and frontispiece, Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey, Harper and Brothers, 1912.

Did you know the great western writer Zane Grey started out as a dentist?

His father was a dentist. 

The old man sternly disapproved of writing as a profession, so Zane wrote secretly at night.

He was prolific!  Published over 90 books.  

Wonderfully descriptive books about fishing trips all over the world. 

Books about baseball—he played in the semi-pros. 

Books about his ancestors who settled Zanesville, Ohio.

And, of course, he wrote westerns.

They made him famous.

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Southwest Book Reviews
4:00 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Book Review: Kepler's Dream by Juliet Bell

We’re half-way through summer, but there’s still time for the young reader in your life to pick up a good book. 

Arizona Public Radio’s Ann Cummins recommends Kepler’s Dream, by Juliet Bell.

It’s about a girl from Seattle who spends a hot, lonely summer in New Mexico…until she discovers a mystery.

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Southwest Book Reviews
4:00 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Book Review: The Mad, Crazy River

The Mad, Crazy River by Clyde Eddy, Published by UNM PRess

It’s April.  If you’re dreaming of white water rapids, vermillion cliffs, and death taunting summer fun, I’ve got a book for you: Clyde Eddy’s A Mad, Crazy River.

Mr. Eddy was no seasoned river man.  He was a New York office worker.   But he’d spent his honeymoon at the Grand Canyon, and there he found his river.  It was a river with a reputation.  Scores of boaters had died trying to navigate it.  John Wesley Powell beat it in 1869. 

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Southwest Book Reviews
4:54 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Sky Harbor--a Review

A ghostly father leads his living son through weeds to an owl’s hiding place.  The owl spreads its wings, taking father and son in.   This is the final image in Miles Waggener’s new poetry collection, Sky Harbor.  Sounds like the ending to a good ghost story, doesn’t it?  Indeed it is.  Ghosts of one sort or another inhabit these spooky but brilliant poems.

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Southwest Book Reviews
5:21 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Southwest Book Review: Giving a Child the Gift of Reading

This fall, the writer Ann Patchett did something radical.  She opened a bookstore.  This goes against the trend. The indie bookstores are practically extinct. I miss Flagstaff’s old landmarks, McGaugh’s Newsstand on Aspen, Aradia Books just across the tracks.  I’m glad we’ve still got Starlight Books on Leroux.

I was thinking, if you want to buy your child a book for Christmas, what are the options?  The big chain bookstores?  I guess.  The internet?  Sure.  Download Where the Wild Things Are and hand your kid a Kindle. 

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Southwest Book Reviews
5:30 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Book Review: From This Wicked Patch of Dust

Writer Sergio Troncoso graduated from Harvard, studied philosophy at Yale, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico.  But he started in a Texas barrio.  In his latest novel, he tells the story of upward mobility in a family much like his own. 

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