BIG RAPIDS - Professor of English Andrew Kantar was on hand this fall for commemorative ceremonies highlighting the 50th anniversary of the Carl D. Bradley shipwreck that included the premier of the documentary film November Requiem, which drew heavily upon Kantar’s book about the Bradley, Black November.
“It was a great honor to be asked to participate in the memorial bell-ringing ceremony, 50 years after the Bradley tragedy. The experience had to be bittersweet for the families that have endured this pain for so long. There will always be a special place in my heart for the people of Rogers City,” Kantar said.
Thirty-three crew members from the Bradley died in one of Lake Michigan’s worst shipping disasters. The clean, spare prose of Kantar’s book captures the emotional toll of the family members left behind, and of the two men who survived the harrowing experience, for both adult and young adult readers. “On that black November night, a lake, a ship, and a town would be unhappily intertwined, forever woven into the fabric of Great Lakes lore,” Kantar writes.
Drawing upon Kantar’s book, the documentary brings the Bradley’s story to an even wider audience. “At the premiere of November Requiem, I was touched when writer/director Brian Belanger told me that my book had inspired him. Brian and I had many conversations, and we both believed that this story needed to be told,” Kantar said.
Kantar also is the author of 29 Missing, his account of the more famous Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck. In 2009, he will complete his lake-faring trilogy with publication of Deadly Voyage, about the loss of the giant steamer Daniel J. Morrell on Lake Huron in November of 1966, and the remarkable story of the ship’s lone survivor.
In addition to his writing, Kantar teaches adolescent literature, advanced scientific writing and various technical writing courses. For two years, he also served as a senior Fulbright scholar in Norway.