Score another Michigan literary honor for Ann Arbor dirty-book writer Steve Amick.
Two novels. Two appearances on the annual listing of Michigan Notable Books. And two small-town Michigan libraries that canceled an appearance by Amick when somebody had a chance to actually take a look at the book.
“Nothing But a Smile,” which came out in paperback (Anchor, $15) last month, was chosen by the Michigan Public Library of Michigan as a 2010 notable book. It’s a charming 1940s story about Sal, the owner of a struggling Detroit Chicago photography shop, who comes up with idea of staging – and posing for – girlie pictures to pay the bills until her husband comes home from the war. While it is, in a sense, about soft-core porn and its, ah, uses, “Nothing But a Smile” comes off “decent and true” – which is also how Amick’s hero, Wink, describes his war buddy’s wife.
“It’s an old-fashioned, sweet book,” says the author, “but … yeah, people have sex. That’s how we got here.”
“Smile” also features an Ann Arbor-related plot twist – one that turned out to have an ironic, real-life parallel.