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English professor publishes third book, “The Lure”

Photo by Colleen Keehl.
Photo by Colleen Keehl.

As students and colleagues in the English department will confirm, Professor William Vande Kopple is not one to keep his thoughts to himself.

“Professor Vande Kopple definitely has a distinctive voice,” said senior Andrew Acevedo. “He doesn’t try to hide who he is from anybody, and he always has a lot to say.”

That is why Vande Kopple’s new book “The Lure: Still More Stories of Families, Fishing, and Faith,” seems to serve as an appropriate outlet for all of his musings on life.

“Writing is something I enjoy doing. It helps me discover things I didn’t know I knew until I actually start putting down my ideas,” said Vande Kopple, who serves as co-chair of the English department. “I’m intrigued with the natural world — lakes, streams, sunsets — and I love exploring old family memories. I also wrestle a lot with religious issues as well, so a lot of that figures into the book.”

“The Lure,” published Aug. 17, 2012, is Vande Kopple’s third book on these topics. His first two books, “The Catch: Families, Fishing, and Faith” and “The Release: More Tales of Families, Fishing, and Faith,” were published in 2004 and 2009, respectively. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company published all three books.

“The Lure” is available at the campus store, Schuler Books, Eerdman’s bookstore and through various online retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s website.

Like “The Catch” and “The Release,” many of the stories in “The Lure” focus on fishing. While Vande Kopple himself is an avid angler, he believes those who do not fish will still be able to appreciate the stories and, hopefully, discover the benefits of spending quiet time in nature.

“I’m not sure if young people know about fishing anymore,” said Vande Kopple. “A lot of the students I talk to haven’t been fishing since they were little. But you can read these stories without knowing about fishing, because in the end, it’s not about fishing. It’s really about family and religious dynamics, and about introducing the beauty of the natural world.”

Featuring sections on fatherhood, longing and providence, “The Lure” is multifaceted in its storytelling. Vande Kopple said his primary interest is to write about what fascinates him, even when that means asking tough questions that do not have easy answers.

“When it comes to things like the problem of pain, I don’t have the answers, and I don’t know if anyone does,” said Vande Kopple. “But it’s definitely something that I wrestle with in my writing. It’s important to talk about the hard religious issues.”
On the whole, Vande Kopple’s books have been known to connect with a wide range of audiences, including Calvin students.

“He presents stories in a way that feels authentic,” said Acevedo. “There is a lot of truth and good ideas, but it’s not heavy-handed. He lets the reader decide what they want to get from his story, instead telling them how it is. A lot of it was very applicable to my own life.”

Many patrons at the Calvin College campus store also find Vande Kopple’s writing worthwhile, valuing his thoughts and stories about life.

“‘The Lure’ continues the proud tradition of Vande Kopple fishing narratives,” said the campus store’s general books coordinator Justin Lawrence. “They are loved by people at Calvin and beyond.”

About the Author

Catherine Kramer

My name is Catherine Kramer and I am a senior hailing from Grandville, Mich. I am the features section editor for the 2013-2014 school year. As an English literature major and writing minor, I have a love for words and people and the ways they interact.

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