Jan Worth-Nelson — a novelist, poet, essayist, short story writer, and long-time writing teacher at UM-Flint — was recently named "Flint's Best Writer" by Broadside, a local independent newspaper. It's always nice to be honored for your work, but it's even better when the prize is a lighter, which is far more impressive, useful and Flint-like than a plaque of some sort.
Jan's novel Night Blind is a great way to discover her writing. Here's the Amazon description:
Melanie, a beautiful young Peace Corps volunteer, is murdered one October night in the Kingdom of Tonga. For young American Charlotte Thornton, the killing sets off an unnerving cascade of questions. Charlotte can’t help but wonder if she’ll be able to survive and work in the tense postmurder atmosphere.
She plunges into her job as a public relations officer for a Tongan noble. But during her off hours, she drinks too much at the Coconut Club and awkwardly tries to adapt her sexually bold inclinations to Polynesian customs. After getting thrown out of a party for cavorting naked with Melanie’s ex-lover, she retreats — embarrassed, depressed, and haunted by Melanie’s death — to her Tongan family. She then falls in love with Gabriel Bonner, a married Peace Corps psychologist.
When Gabriel abruptly leaves and an earthquake rocks the area, Charlotte’s life seems as if it is about to collapse. How will she navigate her way through this tropical ordeal, night blind and 9,000 miles away from home?