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February 13, 2012 / schulerbooks

Michigan Loses a Literary Star

As much of the Michigan community seems to know by now, we lost a wonderful force in the local letters scene last Friday with the death of bestselling author Jeffrey Zaslow.

We at Schuler were crushed to hear the news, as we have worked with Jeffrey often in the past and on a number of recent occasions to help promote his newest book, The Magic Room, about Becker’s Bridal Shop in Fowler, MI, and more largely, about a bride’s journey to the altar.

Jeffrey is best known as the co-author of Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, which remained on bestseller lists for over 100 weeks and sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Jeffrey also worked behind the scenes as co-author with representative Gabrielle Gifford and her husband for her memoir Gabby, and with Captain “Sully” Sullenberger on his book Highest Duty. He was also the sole author of the bestselling The Girls From Ames, as well as a writer for the Wall Street Journal. At the age of 29 Jeffrey won a contest to replace Ann Landers with his advice column All That Zazz.

I had the pleasure of selling books for Jeffrey at the Michigan Women’s Expo  in Lansing a week before his death. There were a few wonderful things about Jeffrey that were immediately apparent upon meeting him. The fact that he was a highly successful journalist and best-selling author seemed to have no impact on him; he was utterly down-to-earth and easy-going. He was joyfully curious, constantly asking questions and genuinely interested in the responses.

As his career demonstrates, he was dedicated to highlighting the positives in life, to finding the stories that help to inspire us to become better people. He was a rarity in the days of the 24-hour News Cycle: He was uplifting, and absolutely refused to muckrake.

Head on over to our sister-blog MittenLit to read Michigan literary reporter Bill Castanier’s dedication to Zaslow. Schuler sends all of our kind thoughts out to Jeffrey’s wife and daughters, and to all those who will feel his loss.

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