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Sunday, March 8, 2:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Gabrielle Zevin reads from The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession - a rare edition of Poe poems - has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew. Gabrielle Zevin's enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books - an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

Gabrielle Zevin has published seven adult and young adult novels, including Elsewhere, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book, which has been translated in over twenty languages. She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women (starring Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart), for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR's All Things Considered. She lives in Los Angeles. Her website is www.gabriellezevin.com.

Monday, March 9, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Reif Larsen reads from I Am Radar

The moment just before Radar Radmanovic is born, all of the hospital’s electricity mysteriously fails. The delivery takes place in total darkness. Lights back on, the staff sees a healthy baby boywith pitch-black skinborn to the stunned white parents. No one understands the uncanny electrical event or the unexpected skin color.

A kaleidoscopic novel both heartbreaking and dazzling, Reif Larsen’s I Am Radar begins with Radar’s perplexing birth but rapidly explodes outward, carrying readers across the globe and throughout history, as well as to unknown regions where radio waves and subatomic particles dance to their own design. Spanning this extraordinary range with grace and empathy, humor and courage,I Am Radar is the vessel where a century of conflict and art unite in a mesmerizing narrative whole.

Drawing on the furthest reaches of quantum physics, forgotten history, and mind-bending art, Larsen’s I Am Radar is a triumph of storytelling at its most primal, elegant, and epic: a breathtaking journey through humanity’s darkest hours only to arrive at a place of shocking wonder and redemption.

Reif Larsen’s first novel, The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet, was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into twenty-seven languages. A Montana Honor book, The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet was a finalist for the IndieBound Award, was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and is currently being released as a film in France and the United States.

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Praise for I Am Radar:

“Gripping…Masterly...This is a sprawling, engrossing novel about the ravages of war and the triumph of art. Larsen is an effortless magician, and his performance here is a pure delight.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Strange things happen when Radar Radmanovic is around… If Larsen’s story makes demands of its readers, it also offers plenty of rewards. Imaginative, original, nicely surreal.” —Kirkus

“This book is a huge departure from T.S. Spivet. It’s sprawling and ambitious, beautiful and strange. I’ve just put it down, and I’m feeling a bit dazed and confused. I can’t help but be reminded of the feeling I’m left with after finishing a Haruki Murakami novel.” —Emily Adams, Third Place Books (Seattle, WA)

Tuesday, March 10, 7:00pm - REPUBLIC at Calhoun Square 3001 Hennepin Ave South

Books & Bars discusses Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Welcome to Little Wing. It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own or struggling to do so.

Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses—among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love.

Seldom has the American heartland been so richly and accurately portrayed. Though the town may have changed, the one thing that hasn’t is the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland, the lure of which, in Nickolas Butler’s hands, emerges as a vibrant character in the story. Shotgun Lovesongs is that rare work of fiction that evokes a specific time and place yet movingly describes the universal human condition. It is, in short, a truly remarkable book—a novel that once read will never be forgotten.

NICKOLAS BUTLER was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His writings have appeared in: Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he currently lives in Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Thursday, March 12, 7:30pm - Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN
Pen Pals with Richard Blanco

In 2013, award-winning poet Richard Blanco became the first Latino immigrant and openly gay writer to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, following in the footsteps of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. In that same year, he was asked to create a poem reflecting on the Boston Marathon bombing victims for a benefit concert. He was born in Madrid in 1968 to Cuban exiles and shortly after immigrated to the United States. His poetry collections include City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead and Looking for the Gulf Motel. His highly-anticipated memoir, Los Cucuyos: A Miami Childhood, was published in fall 2014.

In an inspiring presentation of prose and poetry, Mr. Blanco will share his life story, creative inspirations and poetic works.

Blanco will also be speaking on Friday, March 13, at 11:00am.

This event is part of the Pen Pals Author Lecture series, a ticketed series benefiting Friends of HCL. The 2014-2015 Pen Pals Season offers five award-winning and engaging presenters who collectively have written, critiqued or created thousands of books: Joyce Carol Oates (with Michael Dirda), Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Blanco, Jodi Picoult and Chip Kidd.

Learn more about Pen Pals and purchase a ticket here. Tickets are $40-$50.

Friday, March 13, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415

The Loft Literary Center presents Mentor Series Reading: Kao Kalia Yang

The 2014–15 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose presents nonfiction mentor Kao Kalia Yang reading along with program participants Rhea Davison-Edwards (poetry) and Kinzy Janssen (nonfiction).

Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer, is the co-founder of a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. Yang is a graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University. She is currently working on her second manuscript, Still, Fluttering Heart: The Second Album. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kao Kalia Yang is a teacher, public speaker, and writer.

Rhea Davison-Edwards has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from Minnesota State University-Mankato. In her writing, she seeks to write honestly and openly about real-life struggles, while also creating and sustaining hope. She has primarily worked in nonfiction and fiction, but she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to focus on the art and craft of poetry, with the help of great mentors and the company of fellow mentees.

Kinzy Janssen is an editor, blogger, and poet living in Saint Paul whose work has been published in Wisconsin People & Ideas, Volume One, and Innisfree Poetry Journal. She is currently social media editor at The Riveter Magazine. She’s always in the mood for karaoke and craft beer, and fancies herself a gardener after one semi-successful year. She loves musing about the Midwest and its boundaries, regionalisms, and weather.

Saturday, March 14, 8:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415
The Loft Literary Center presents EQ: Nimo Farah

Nimo H. Farah uses language to express things she finds too confusing. Her current undertaking is to develop her skills as an orator while blending Somali and English. She thinks herself charming and hilarious in the Somali language, but rarely does that humor translate into English. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Water~Stone Review, the Saint Paul Almanac, and the Loft Inroads chapter book. As a storyteller she has shared her words at the Black Dog Café, the Loft, and Pillsbury House. She co-founded SALLI, a nonprofit organization promoting art and literature in the Somali community, and is currently a Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow and a 2014 Bush Fellow.

Tuesday, March 17, 6:15pm - The Happy Gnome (498 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102)

Books & Bars discusses Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Welcome to Little Wing. It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own or struggling to do so.

Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses—among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love.

Seldom has the American heartland been so richly and accurately portrayed. Though the town may have changed, the one thing that hasn’t is the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland, the lure of which, in Nickolas Butler’s hands, emerges as a vibrant character in the story. Shotgun Lovesongs is that rare work of fiction that evokes a specific time and place yet movingly describes the universal human condition. It is, in short, a truly remarkable book—a novel that once read will never be forgotten.

NICKOLAS BUTLER was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His writings have appeared in: Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he currently lives in Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Thursday, March 19, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Amy Scheibe reads from A Fireproof Home for the Bride

Emmaline Nelson and her sister Birdie grow up in the hard, cold, rural Lutheran world of strict parents, strict milking times, and strict morals. Marriage is preordained and though it’s 1958, southern Minnesota did not see changing roles for women on the horizon.

Caught in a time bubble between a world war and the ferment of the 1960’s, Emmy doesn’t question the path laid before her. Only when her fiancé shows his true colors and forces himself upon her does she find the courage to act. Readers will cheer for Emmy as she discovers her voice, moves from the farm to town, breaks her engagement, and finds a job as a switch board operator at the local newspaper, The Fargo Forum. She even falls for an absolutely forbidden suitor—a Catholic boy. Emmy quickly takes to the newsroom and hopes to break out as a reporter. Following her gut and inquisitive instincts, she discovers that the KKK is not only active in the Midwest, but that her family is involved. Her sense of the firm rules she grew up under—and their effect—begins to change completely.

Amy Scheibe lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. Her first novel, What Do You Do All Day, was Amazon.com’s #1 Women’s Fiction Pick for 2005.

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Praise for A Fireproof Home for the Bride:

“An engrossing tale of intrigue, deceit and racial unrest in the upper Midwest in the 1950s, A Fireproof Home for the Bride is a fresh take on a pivotal moment in American history.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train

A Fireproof Home for the Bride fascinates with its postwar period detail, and bravely travels to corners of the heartland where everyone has secrets, and wholesomeness is not as it appears.” —Kate Manning, author of My Notorious Life

A Fireproof Home for the Bride is an engrossing, quietly profound story of a young woman’s coming of age in the deceptively bucolic Upper Midwest of the 1950s. Its nuanced, utterly real characters and tantalizing revelation of secrets will keep readers turning the pages.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

Friday, March 20, 6:30pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415
The Loft Literary Center presents Minnesota Book Awards: Meet the Finalists

Looking for some great reads? Join the Minnesota Book Awards and The Loft Literary Center for a celebration of this year’s finalist books on Friday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. At this popular annual event, finalists from each of the eight award categories gather to share brief excerpts from their books, followed by complimentary wine and light refreshments, book sales, and signings. Get some great ideas for your reading list and meet authors, including Allen Eskens, Ray Gonzalez, Nicole Helget, Julie Klassen, Jim Lenfestey, Larry Millett, Margi Preus, Lori Sturdevant, Mike Wohnoutka, and more! This event is free and open to the public.

Award winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18, at the historic St. Paul Union Depot, 214 Fourth Street East. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org or calling 651-222-3242.

Tuesday, March 24, 7:00pm - On Being Studio (1619 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis)

Launch party for Tony Jones' Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for Love in History's Most Famous Execution

The church has a problem with the cross. What was supposed to be a potent symbol of God’s love has become an instrument for making Christians feel guilty and ashamed, even unlovable—the very things the cross was meant to remedy. In Did God Kill Jesus? popular theologian, blogger, speaker, and author Tony Jones invites us to explore how the church lost its way, showing us how we can restore the cross to its rightful place at the center of Christian faith as an inspiring message of how much God loves us and as an inspiration to love others.

Tony Jones (M.Div., Ph.D.) is a theologian, professor, and writer. Currently, he serves as theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis, and teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Tony has written a dozen books on Christian ministry, spirituality, prayer, and new church movements. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, kids, and dogs.

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Praise for Did God Kill Jesus?:

“This important, smart, readable, and ultimately beautiful book allows this generation to re-claim the cross as the place of God’s deepest love rather than the place of our deepest shame. Jones unlocks the chains of fear and shame that bind so much of Christianity and offers us instead, freedom. I am so grateful for this important book. I will honestly be referring people to Did God Kill Jesus? for decades to come. It’s that important. If I had this book in seminary, several of my classes would have made a lot more sense.” —Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Pastrix and pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints

“Engaging and accessible, written with the right mix of humility and conviction, Did God Kill Jesus? invites readers to wrestle with key questions about Christianity. I learned something new on every page and will be thinking about this one for a long, long time.” —Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Searching for Sunday

Did God Kill Jesus? is the one and only book I have ever seen on the atonement that I can wholeheartedly recommend without reservation and with devout enthusiasm. Even-handed, historically complete, accessible to any reader who chooses to approach it, this is a masterful piece of work.” —Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence

Wednesday, March 25, 7:00pm - Minneapolis Central Library in Pohlad Hall (300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401)
Talk of the Stacks with Lisa See

New York Times bestselling author of Dreams of Joy, Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See has been writing about the Asian-American experience for twenty years. Informed by her own family’s experiences, Ms. See’s critically-acclaimed works illuminate forgotten stories and highlight the strong bonds between women and love of country. Her newest novel China Dolls, named one of the “Best Books of 2014” by the Washington Post, follows the intertwined lives of three Asian-American nightclub performers in San Francisco during the 1930s and 1940s.

Talk of the Stacks is a reading series exploring contemporary literature and culture. Programs are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served. Programs begin at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:15 pm. Books are available for sale and signing. Signings follow lectures.

Funding provided by National Endowment for the Arts. In-Kind sponsors: MinnPost and Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Thursday, March 26, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

June Thiemann reads from All in the Asylum: The Lazy Person's Guide to Self-Preservation

“How can there be no room for a family that keeps shrinking? Where can you go to not disappear? Why can more be seen in the shadows than in light?" Find out the answers in this memoir about growing up in a large, baby-boom family, ravaged by mental illness.

All in the Asylum is the first work by June Thiemann, a teacher, writer, and child advocate in Minneapolis. The project began twenty-two years ago after giving birth to her first son. Naming him after a brother who committed suicide, she began to put other names to the absences in her family. She couldn’t complete the memoir until she figured out a strategy to keep herself and her kids from disappearing.

The themes represented in this book seek to provide solace for those trying to make sense of their own mental health or the health of a loved one. “How can anyone hope to spot an illness that by its very nature distorts perception? Instead, why not proactively seek out mental health resources for the family from the get-go?”

With school shootings and mass murders "off the charts," as President Obama said recently, and suicides reaching epidemic levels—whether it’s Robin Williams, L'Wren Scott, Freddy E, or all the lesser-known teenagers, baby-boomers, and elderly victims—it’s time for a new approach to mental illness. All in the Asylum paves the way.

Sunday, March 29, 6:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a new monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota. All are welcome to attend; light refreshments will be provided.

Readers will include:

Fiction writer John Costello
Non-fiction writer Dana D’Amico
Poet Julia Marley
Poet Megan Gette
Non-fiction writer Jordan Thomas

For more information, please contact D. Allen at millcityreadingseries@gmail.com, or visit their website.

Thursday, April 2, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Launch of Colleen Mauro's Spiritual Telepathy: Ancient Techniques to Access the Wisdom of Your Soul

Spiritual Telepathy introduces readers to the ancient mind-training techniques that will allow them to access the wisdom and guidance of their own souls. These practices come from a body of knowledge called the Ageless Wisdom. Once taught in the ancient mystery schools of Egypt, Greece, Babylon and India, these teachings were first put into book form by the Hindu sage Patanjali, author of The Yoga Sutras. In this classic book, Patanjali explained that the soul is our gateway to the higher worlds. When we make contact with soul, we have direct access to the subtle worlds where information on all subjects can be found.

Our most celebrated creative thinkers—the people we call geniuses or visionaries—all had the ability to access the subtle worlds. We see the fruits of this experience all around us—from our most beautiful works of art to the scientific breakthroughs and inventions that have revolutionized our world. But it’s not just the famous—it is possible for each of us to gain access to this universal storehouse of wisdom and knowledge.

Colleen Mauro was the founder and editor-in-chief of Intuition magazine. Her thirty years of experience in magazine publishing includes work as a publisher, editor, advertising director, and circulation and marketing consultant. A lifelong interest in the untapped powers of the mind led to the launch of Intuition magazine in 1988. Intuition explored the higher potential of the mind and the many and varied ways of knowing—intuition, inspiration and telepathy—providing both research and how-to information in easy-to-read form for the general reader.

Wednesday, April 8, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
BOMB Magazine and Two Dollar Radio present Sarah Gerard, Ian Dreiblatt, Nicholas Rombes, and Rae Armantrout

Join BOMB Magazine and Two Dollar Radio for a reading with Sarah Gerard, Ian Dreiblatt, Nicholas Rombes, and Rae Armantrout

Sarah Gerard is the author of the chapbook Things I Told My Mother and the novel Binary Star. Short works have appeared in The New York Times, Bookforum, The Paris Review Daily, Joyland, The Los Angeles Review of Books and other journals. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works at BOMB Magazine.

Ian Dreiblatt is a poet, translator, critic, and musician who lives in Brooklyn. His recent translations include Gogol's The Nose, Comradely Greetings (the prison correspondence of Pussy Riot's Nadyezhda Tolokonnikova with philosopher Slavoj Žižek), and various writing by insurgent artists of the Russian and Ukrainian left. sonnets, a chapbook, was published in 2014 by Metambesen, and letterpress-printed chap, בראשונה, is forthcoming in spring 2015 from DoubleCross Press. Work has additionally appeared in journals including Bomb, Web Conjunctions, The Agriculture Reader, Elderly, and Sink Review. In his spare time, he devises desolate walking tours of New York City, an obscure human settlement on the edge of America.

Nicholas Rombes is author of the novel The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing (Two Dollar Radio, October 2014) as well as Ramones from the acclaimed 33 1/3 series published by Bloomsbury. He is a contributing editor at Filmmaker Magazine and has written for The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Believer, The Rumpus, n+1, and other places. He is a professor of English at the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, Michigan.

Rae Armantrout is a professor of writing in the Literature Department at the University of California at San Diego, and the author of eleven books of poetry, including Money Shot, Versed, Next Life, and Veil: New and Selected Poems.

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BOMB Magazine has been publishing conversations between artists of all disciplines since 1981. BOMB's founders—New York City based artists and writers—created BOMB because they saw a disparity between the way artists talked about their work among themselves and the way critics described it.

Today, BOMB is a multi-media publishing house that creates, disseminates, and preserves artist-generated content from interviews to artists’ essays to new literature. BOMB includes a quarterly print magazine, a daily online publication, and a digital archive of its previously published content from 1981 onward.

Two Dollar Radio was founded in 2005. The original impetus came on the heels of reading Andre Schiffrin’s The Business of Books. Two Dollar Radio functions on a no-wasted bullets policy. You won’t find jokebooks or bathroom readers camouflaged in our lists. Our primary interest lies with what we would characterize as bold work: subversive, original, and highly creative.

Two Dollar Radio-published books have been honored by the National Book Foundation, finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, picked as 'Editors' Choice' selections by The New York Times Book Review, and made year-end best-of lists at O, The Oprah Magazine, National Public Radio, Time Out New York, Slate, Salon, and The Believer.

Thursday, April 9, 7:30pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Launch of ELJ's Wild and Harvest editions

SUNY-Buffalo State's literary journal, ELJ (Elm Leaves Journal) celebrates the launch of its Wild and Harvest editions, with readings by:

Kim Chinquee
Paul Lisicky
Gregory Lawless
Robert Lopez
Ted Pelton
Trevor Dodge
Kathy Fish
Peter Ramos.

Elm Leaves Journal is Buffalo State's historic literary and arts journal. In production since 1948, Elm Leaves Journal has been administered, edited and produced by students at Buffalo State College.

In 2013, after a brief hiatus, Elm Leaves Journal was re-imagined as ELJ, a cutting edge, national literary journal. The 2013 edition was the first that published writers outside of the Buffalo State community, that was printed by a professional publisher. ELJ is published through the cooperation of the Writing Major and the School of Arts and Humanities.

The Wild Edition (Winter 2013) features work by writers Matthew Bookin, Eric Bosse, Tiff Holland, Gergory Lawless, Paul Lisicky, Robert Lopez, Mary Miller, Darlin' Neal, Ted Pelton, Gary Percesepe, Jennifer Pieroni, Matthew Roberston, Gail Louise Siegel, Curtis Smith, Ed Taylor, Griija Tropp, and Amy Day Wilkinson.

The Harvest edition (Fall 2014) features work by Trevor Dodge, Kathy Fish, Zach Fishel, Sherrie Flick, Lydia Copeland Gwyn, Tiff Holland, Paul Myette, Thomas O’Connell, Peter Ramos, Gail Louise Siegel, Kaysi Stepien, Ed Taylor, Diane Vickers, and Joan Wilking.

The Dirt edition is scheduled to be released in the academic year of 2015-2016. Submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews and translations (of any word length) can be sent in the body of the email to eljbuffalo@gmail.com.

The journal is edited by Pushcart Prize-winning author Kim Chinquee, Associate Professor of English, and co-director of the writing major. ELJ is produced, in part, through the work of students in ENG 357, Literary Publishing. In this course, Professor Chinquee takes the students through the process or producing the journal, from layout to selection to editing.

Friday, April 10, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Algonquin Roundtable featuring Algonquin authors Tim Johnston, Jill McCorkle, Bill Roorbach, and more

Join us for a special Algonquin Roundtable featuring the following Algonquin authors:

Tim Johnston, author of debut novel Descent
Jill McCorkle, Life After Life
Bill Roorbach, Life Among Giants, The Remedy for Love
Brock Clarke, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers Homes in New England, The Happiest People in the World
Lauren Grodstein, A Friend of the Family, An Explanation for Everything
Gina Frangello, A Life in Men
Michael Parker, All I Have in This World, The Watery Part of the World

The authors will read and do a question and answer session. This event is free and open to the public.

Algonquin Books' founding edict still holds strong: to publish quality fiction and nonfiction by undiscovered young writers, and to keep our books in print, reaching new fans for years to come. Though they publish only 20 new titles a year, we are recognized around the world as an award-winning literary house with numerous bestsellers. From Water for Elephants to A Reliable Wife, The Art Forger to Last Child in the Woods, our books continue to stimulate, enrich and entertain legions of fans.

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The above authors will also be participating in an panel at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, titled "Between Oblivion and The Blockbuster: What's a Literary Novel To Do?" This event is only open to those registered for the conference.

At a time when the literary novel seems all but doomed, five accomplished authors have found safe haven with an indie house that publishes just 20 new titles a year. Now, at vastly different moments in their careers-some quite impressively along, others just debuting-these Algonquin Books authors gather to tell stories of the paths that led each of them to this common publishing experience, and to discuss what they've learned about a literary landscape that might not be so bleak after all.

This panel spotlights a paradigm that many believe to be a relic of the publishing past: the literary author as the house's most valued-and most well-supported-commodity. The panelists hail from a wide diversity of backgrounds and publishing histories, yet all share this unique and critical career experience. The stories of their journeys will interest, and perhaps inspire, young and veteran writers alike who find themselves somewhere-anywhere-along their own roads to greater readership.

Friday, April 10, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415

BUST Magazine reading hosted by The Loft Literary Center and Roxane Gay

BUST Magazine and the Loft present:

Patricia Smith
xTx
Roxane Gay
Amber Tamblyn
Franny Choi
and Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Free and open to the public.
First-come, first-served seating.
Overflow rooms with live feeds available.

With an attitude that is fierce, funny, and proud to be female, BUST Magazine provides an uncensored view on the female experience. BUST tells the truth about women's lives and presents a female perspective on pop culture. BUSTing stereotypes about women since 1993.

Saturday, April 11, 2:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Tiferet Journal reading

On Saturday, April 11, at 2 pm, there will be a special reading hosted by Tiferet Journal. The authors will sign their books and answer questions about their craft. This event is open to the public. Alika Barnstone is an award-winning poet, editor, translator, and critic. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Greece in 2006, and has received two Pulitzer Prize nominations.

Therése Halscheid’s latest collection is Frozen Latitudes. She received a Greatest Hits chapbook award by Pudding House Publications. Simplicity has connected her to the natural world and has been the focus of her art.

Alex Cigale’s English-language poems and translations of Russian poetry have appeared in Cimarron, Colorado, Green Mountains, New England, and many others. He is a 2015 NEA Literary Translation Fellow, and editor of the Spring 2015 Russia issue of the Atlanta Review.

Tony Barnstone is The Albert Upton Professor of English at Whittier College and author of seventeen books and a music CD. In 2014-15, he’ll publish two anthologies. Selected Prizes: NEA, California Arts Council, Poets Prize, Pushcart, Strokestown International, John Ciardi, Benjamin Saltman.

Willis Barnstone is an American poet, memoirist, translator, Hispanist, and comparatist. He has translated the Ancient Greek poets and the complete fragments of the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus. He is also a New Testament and Gnostic scholar.

Melissa Studdard’s debut poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, was released this past fall. She is also a best-selling novelist. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, and two Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.

Diane Bonavist is the founder of Resourceful Woman, a feminist publication. She is the author of Cathars and The Daughters of Night, both historical novels. Diane has worked in technical communication for Fortune 500 companies, and taught creative writing.

Donna Baier Stein is the author of the story collection Sympathetic People. Her awards include a scholarship from Bread Loaf, fellowship from Johns Hopkins University, prizes from the Poetry Societies of Virginia and New Hampshire, and more.

Amy King’s I Want to Make You Safe, was one of Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2011. She is the recipient of the 2015 Winner Women’s National Book Association Award. King teaches Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

Barrett Warner is the author of My Friend Ken Harvey and Til I'm Blue in the Face. Barrett is also an associate editor of Free State Review, and acquisitions editor for Galileo Press.

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Tiferet is a non-sectarian, non-dogmatic publication and community at the nexus of literature and spirituality.

We publish high-quality poetry, prose, and art that further meaningful dialogue about what it is to be humane and conscious in today’s often divisive world.

Sunday, April 12, 2:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Ellen Meeropol presents On Hurricane Island

As a major hurricane threatens the northeast, math professor Gandalf Cohen is abducted by federal agents and flown to a secret interrogation center off the coast of Maine. Austin Coombs, a young local resident, is a newly hired civilian guard assigned to the detention center. Henry Ames, a man of personal secrets, is the FBI special agent in charge of Gandalf's case and doubts the professor's terrorist involvement; Tobias, his second-in-command, disagrees, preferring violent interrogation. As the hurricane slams the shore, conflict detonates and each character must choose a side if they're to survive the storm.

Told over the five days approaching the anniversary of 9/11, by varying voices on both extremes of the political divide, On Hurricane Island is both a fast-paced political thriller and a literary examination of the sociopolitical storm facing our society. How far should government go in the name of protecting our national security? What happens when governmental powers of surveillance and extra-legal interrogation are expanded? How free are we?

A former nurse practitioner and part-time bookseller, Ellen Meeropol is the author of one previous novel, House Arrest. She lives and writes in Western Massachusetts.

Tuesday, April 14, 7:00pm - REPUBLIC at Calhoun Square 3001 Hennepin Ave South
Books & Bars discusses The Martian by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Wednesday, April 15, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Chris Cander presents Whisper Hollow

One morning in Verra, a town nestled into the hillsides of West Virginia, the young Myrthen Bergmann is playing tug-of-war with her twin, when her sister is killed. Unable to accept her own guilt, Myrthen excludes herself from all forms of friendship and affection and begins a twisted, haunted life dedicated to God. Meanwhile, her neighbor Alta Krol longs to be an artist even as her days are taken up caring for her widowed father and siblings.

Everything changes when Myrthen marries the man Alta loves. Fourteen years later, we meet Lidia, a teenage girl in the same town, and her precocious son, Gabriel. When Gabriel starts telling eerily prescient stories that hint at Verra’s long-buried secrets, it’s not long before the townspeople begin to suspect that the boy harbors evil spirits—an irresistible state of affairs for Myrthen and her obsession with salvation.

Praise for Whisper Hollow:

“Like D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, Chris Cander’s beautiful novel, Whisper Hollow, is about love that finds its object, and love that misses its mark and becomes destructive, in a community of coal miners. ... Chris Cander’s understanding of men and women is profound, and the scenes in this wonderful book will stay with you like a visionary experience.” —Charles Baxter, author of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories

“Love and loss, devotion and longing, hope and despair, Cander renders all of this and more through the lives of three women spanning more than fifty years. Here is a novel so full of life—of its beauty and cruelty—that I emerged from it like one of those men walking from mines she so wonderfully evokes, like a man walking from the darkness into the light.” —Peter Geye, author of The Lighthouse Road

Chris Cander is a novelist, children’s book author, freelance writer, and teacher for Houston-based Writers in the Schools. Her novel 11 Stories, published by a small press in Houston, was included in Kirkus’s best indie general fiction of 2013.

Thursday, April 16, 7:30pm - Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN
Pen Pals with Jodi Picoult

In just over 20 years, Jodi Picoult has published 21 novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes and My Sister’s Keeper. With sales of more than 46 million books in 34 languages in 35 countries, several of her works have been made into films for both television and the big screen. Leaving Time (her 22nd novel) will be published in Fall 2014.

In a lecture entitled, “The Facts Behind the Fiction,” Ms. Picoult will explore the fascinating, and sometimes humorous, research she does for her novels.

Picoult will also be speaking on Friday, April 17, at 11:00am.

This event is part of the Pen Pals Author Lecture series, a ticketed series benefiting Friends of HCL. The 2014-2015 Pen Pals Season offers five award-winning and engaging presenters who collectively have written, critiqued or created thousands of books: Joyce Carol Oates (with Michael Dirda), Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Blanco, Jodi Picoult and Chip Kidd.

Learn more about Pen Pals and purchase a ticket here. Tickets are $40-$50.

Friday, April 17, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415

The Loft Literary Center presents Mentor Series Reading: Ru Freeman

The 2014–15 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose presents fiction mentor Ru Freeman reading along with program participants Kate Lucas (poetry) and S.A. Wolter (fiction).

Ru Freeman was born into a family of writers and many boys in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in VQR, Guernica, World Literature Today, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editorial board member of the Asian American Literary Review, and a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is the author of the novel A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009), which was long-listed for the DCS Prize for South Asian Literature, and translated into several languages. Her new novel, On Sal Mal Lane, was published by Graywolf Press in 2013. She calls both Sri Lanka and America home and writes about the people and countries underneath her skin.

Kate Lucas works as a writer and educator in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her poems and essay writing have appeared in sleet magazine; rock, paper, scissors; Studio One; and the anthology From the Pews in the Back, and she received an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Loft Mentor Series for Poetry. She received her MFA from Hamline University and served as assistant poetry editor for Water~Stone Review in 2014.

S. A. Wolter spent her childhood on a cattle ranch and farm in northwestern North Dakota. Following career opportunities and paychecks, she has lived most of her adult life in the metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Arizona and Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota. She was a 2013 recipient of a Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant in prose. Her writing credits include the Jonis Agee Award for Fiction in Dust & Fire: Writing and Art by Women and publication in Open to Interpretation: Intimate Landscape, a juried book competition of photographs, poetry, and prose. She currently resides in Eden Prairie with her husband, two teenage children, and her writing companion, a small dog named Macy.

Sunday, April 19, 2:00pm - House of Hope Presbyterian Church (797 Summit Avenue, St Paul)
The House of Hope Sunday Series presents Jon Meacham

The House of Hope Sunday Series presents prominent speakers and musicians. These events are free and open to the public. On April 19, the program with Jon Meacham begins at 2, followed by a question and answer session, and then a book-signing opportunity.

Sunday Series April 19, 2015, 2 p.m.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham is an historian, editor, and bestselling author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power and American Lion (Pulitzer), among others. Meacham is also the executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, a contributing editor to Time magazine, former editor of Newsweek, and a regular contributor on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose.

Sunday, April 19, 6:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a new monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota. All are welcome to attend; light refreshments will be provided.

Readers will include:

Fiction writer Alexandra Watson
Non-fiction writer Jonathan Damery
Poet Katie Rensch
Poet Su Hwang
Non-fiction writer Scott Long

For more information, please contact D. Allen at millcityreadingseries@gmail.com, or visit their website.

Tuesday, April 21, 6:15pm - The Happy Gnome (498 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102)
Books & Bars discusses The Martian by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Thursday, April 23, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Margret Aldrich presents The Little Free Library Book

"Take a book. Return a book." In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library as a memorial to his mom. Five years later, this simple idea to promote literacy and encourage community has become a movement. Little Free Libraries—freestanding front-yard book exchanges—now number twenty thousand in seventy countries. The Little Free Library Book tells the history of these charming libraries, gathers quirky and poignant firsthand stories from owners, provides a resource guide for how to best use your Little Free Library, and delights readers with color images of the most creative and inspired LFLs around.

Margret Aldrich is a freelance writer and editor. Her articles have appeared in the Utne Reader, Experience Life!, and elsewhere. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her family.

Friday, April 24, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Madelon Sprengnether reads from Great River Road: Memoir and Memory and Near Solstice: Prose Poems with poet Patricia Kirkpatrick

About Great River Road:

Great River Road is about the transformations of memory over time. Personal memory, as we now know, is fluid, flexible, malleable—blending current experience with remembered events, hence altering individual memories in the process of recall. Memoir writing, like memory, reconstructs the past in the light of the present. In this way, painful or even traumatic events ... may change over time in ways that open new avenues of insight and self-awareness. Both memoir and memory re-member the past in ways that offer the possibility of transformation.

“Great River Road is a candid personal story and a far larger one: an intriguing take on the challenge of revisiting our lives, taking pleasure in old joys, and overcoming our natural resistance to the painful parts. Sprengnether’s conclusion that memory is a ‘process rather than a product, a verb rather than a noun’ is the perfect way to open tight-shut doors to the forgiveness of others and of the self.” - Rosellen Brown

About Near Solstice: Prose Poems:

Near Solstice is grounded in the body and sensual awareness as the means by which we experience the world. In a series of interlinked poems, which read like meditations, this collection deals with the death of parents, family members and friends in the context of the passing of seasons, the vicissitudes of sexuality, the consolations of landscape, and the significance of light. With their focus on individual moments in time, which expand to include history, myth and culture, these poems are both profoundly physical and intensely spiritual.

“Madelon Sprengnether’s short prose poems surprise us with their quick turns and telegraphic insights, their physical bearing—what she calls ‘bodyworlds’—and spiritual poise. Near Solstice is a book of urgencies.” - Edward Hirsch

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Madelon Sprengnether is Regents Professor in the Department of English at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches literature and creative writing. In addition to scholarly books and articles, she has published a collection of lyric essays, Rivers, Stories, Houses, Dreams; a memoir, Crying at the Movies: A Film Memoir; two collections of poems, The Normal Heart and The Angel of Duluth; and a co-edited collection of travel writing by women, The House on Via Gombito.

Patricia Kirkpatrick received the inaugural Lindquist & Vennum Poetry Prize. Her book Odessa, selected by poet Peter Campion and published by Milkweed Editions in 2012, was awarded the 2013 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. She is the author of Century’s Road, poetry chapbooks, and books for young readers. Her work appears widely in journals and in anthologies, including Robert Bly in This World and She Walks in Beauty.

Monday, April 27, 7:00pm - Minneapolis Central Library in Pohlad Hall (300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401)

Talk of the Stacks with Dan Buettner

A National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author, Dan Buettner is the founder of Blue Zones, a nonprofit dedicated to putting the world’s best practices in longevity and well-being to work in people’s lives. His research on longevity led to a National Geographic cover story, “Secrets of Living Longer,” and two national bestsellers, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest and Thrive. A revered public speaker, he has appeared on CNN, the David Letterman Show, Good Morning America and the Today Show to discuss his groundbreaking research. His newest book, The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People, is filled with moving personal stories, recipes and useful tips for a healthier, happier life.

Talk of the Stacks is a reading series exploring contemporary literature and culture. Programs are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served. Programs begin at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:15 pm. Books are available for sale and signing. Signings follow lectures.

Funding provided by National Endowment for the Arts. In-Kind sponsors: MinnPost and Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Wednesday, April 29, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Launch of Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are by Tim Burkett, with guest Wanda Isle, editor

Zen teachings—infused with elements of memoir—by a popular modern teacher who "grew up" at the feet of two of the great figures who brought Zen to America, Shunryu Suzuki and Dainin Katagiri. The author employs his reminiscences of those two great masters as teaching anecdotes.

Tim Burkett was twenty when he met Suzuki Roshi, and it was love at first sight. He immediately quit pursuing the career in law to which his illustrious family of jurists inclined him, and became a serious Zen student. He went on to become a licensed psychotherapist and then followed Katagiri Roshi to Minneapolis to become a founder of the Zen scene there. He never left. Now that he's himself a revered Zen teacher, he's decided to articulate his own view of Zen. He structures the teaching according to five not-necessarily sequential levels on the road to enlightenment: (1) commitment to the path, (2) studying the self, (3) cultivating compassion and equanimity, (4) perseverance, and (5) emptiness. This is an introduction to Zen teaching that reads like an intriguing memoir, as the author discovers the teaching in the people, places, and experiences he encounters in the course of his practice.

Thursday, April 30, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415

The Loft Literary Center presents the 9th Annual "Motherhood & Words" Reading

Local Author Kate Hopper launched the annual Motherhood & Words Reading in 2007.

So often in our society, writing by a group of people is lumped together and dismissed. This has certainly been the case with motherhood literature. In 1976, Adrienne Rich began Of Woman Born with this: “We know more about the air we breathe, the seas we travel, than about the nature and meaning of motherhood.” Almost four decades later, we have made progress, yet motherhood literature is still largely ignored, and motherhood memoir, christened “momoir,” is routinely dismissed.

But like all great writing, literature about motherhood is, as Patricia Hampl says about memoir, “an attempt to find not only a self but a world.” Motherhood literature is not about motherhood; it uses motherhood as a lens through which to see the world.

Join Kate in welcoming authors Kathryn Trueblood and Kao Kalia Yang for the 9th Annual Motherhood & Words Reading on Thursday, April 30 at the Loft.

Kate Hopper is the author of Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers and Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood, winner of a 2014 MIPA’s Midwest Book Award, and she is co-author of Silent Running, a memoir of one family’s journey with autism and running. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including Brevity, the New York Times online, and Poets & Writers. She teaches in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program, online, and at the Loft Literary Center and Madeline Island School of the Arts.

Kathryn Trueblood’s most recent book is The Baby Lottery, a Book Sense Pick in 2007. She was awarded the 2013 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, judged by Jane Smiley and sponsored by the Bellevue Literary Review. Trueblood’s latest story, “Diary of a Slut,” was published in 2014 by SheBooks, a new digital publisher of women’s writing. Her stories and articles have been published in Poets & Writers, the Los Angeles Review, Glimmer Train, and others. A professor of English at Western Washington University, she lives in Bellingham, Washington.

Kao Kalia Yang is a teacher, public speaker, and writer. Yang is the author of the award-winning book The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir and the forthcoming The Song Poet (Metropolitan Books, 2016). She is a graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Kao Kalia lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her family.

Sunday, May 3, 6:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a new monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota. All are welcome to attend; light refreshments will be provided.

Readers will include:

Fiction writer Mike Alberti
Non-fiction writer Emily Strasser
Poet Anna Rasmussen
Non-fiction writer Veronica Kavass
Poet Trevor Ketner

For more information, please contact D. Allen at millcityreadingseries@gmail.com, or visit their website.

Thursday, May 7, 7:30pm - Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN

Pen Pals with Chip Kidd

According to USA Today, Chip Kidd is “the closest thing to a rock star” in the world of graphic design. He is lauded for revolutionizing the book cover and for his iconic illustrations, such as the T-Rex image he designed for Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. In his role as Associate Art Director at Alfred A. Knopf since 1986, he has produced more than 2,000 iconic designs and has received top honors. His 2012 TED talk has garnered hundreds of thousands of views and was cited as one of the “funniest of the year.” In addition to his design work, Chip Kidd has published two novels and several books on comics and graphic design.

In an illustrated talk, Mr. Kidd will make you reexamine why you judge a book by its cover.

Kidd will also be speaking on Friday, May 8, at 11:00am.

This event is part of the Pen Pals Author Lecture series, a ticketed series benefiting Friends of HCL. The 2014-2015 Pen Pals Season offers five award-winning and engaging presenters who collectively have written, critiqued or created thousands of books: Joyce Carol Oates (with Michael Dirda), Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Blanco, Jodi Picoult and Chip Kidd.

Learn more about Pen Pals and purchase a ticket here. Tickets are $40-$50.

Wednesday, May 13, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
William D. Green reads from Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912

The true story, and the black citizens, behind the evolution of racial equality in Minnesota

He had just given a rousing speech to a packed assembly in St. Paul, but Frederick Douglass, confidant to the Great Emancipator and conscience of the Republican Party, was denied a hotel room because he was black. This was Minnesota in 1873, four years after the state had approved black suffrage—a state where “freedom” meant being unshackled from slavery but not social restrictions, where “equality” meant access to the ballot but not to a restaurant downtown.

Spanning the half-century after the Civil War, Degrees of Freedom draws a rare picture of black experience in a northern state and of the nature of black discontent and action within a predominantly white, ostensibly progressive society. William D. Green reveals little-known historical characters among the black men and women who moved to Minnesota following the Fifteenth Amendment; worked as farmhands and laborers; built communities (such as Pig’s Eye Landing, later renamed St. Paul), businesses, and a newspaper (the Western Appeal); and embodied the slow but inexorable advancement of race relations in the state over time. Within this absorbing, often surprising, narrative we meet “ordinary” citizens, like former slave and early settler Jim Thompson and black barbers catering to a white clientele, but also personages of national stature, such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W. E. B. Du Bois, all of whom championed civil rights in Minnesota. And we see how, in a state where racial prejudice and oppression wore a liberal mask, black settlers and entrepreneurs, politicians, and activists maneuvered within a restricted political arena to bring about real and lasting change.

William D. Green, professor of history at Augsburg College, is the author of A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Minnesota.

Sunday, June 7, 4:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Maggie Messitt reads from The Rainy Season: Three Lives in the New South Africa

Just across the northern border of a former apartheid-era homeland sits the the remote bushveld community of Rooiboklaagte, caught between a traditional past and a western future, a racially charged history and a pseudo-democratic present. The Rainy Season introduces readers to and opens a window into the complicated reality of daily life in South Africa, telling the stories of three generations in the Rainbow Nation one decade after its first democratic elections. This multi-threaded narrative follows Regina, a tapestry weaver in her sixties, standing at the crossroads where her Catholic faith and the AIDS pandemic crash; Thoko, a middle-aged sangoma (traditional healer) taking steps to turn her shebeen into a fully licensed tavern; and Dankie, a young man taking his matriculation exams, coming of age as one of Mandela’s Children, the first academic class educated entirely under democratic governance.

An independent narrative and immersion journalist, Maggie Messitt has spent the last decade reporting from inside underserved communities in southern Africa and middle America. A dual-citizen, Messitt lived in South Africa from 2003 to 2011. During this time, she was the founding director of a writing school for rural African women, editor of its community newspaper and international literary magazine, and a freelance reporter. Messitt currently resides in Athens, Ohio, where she’s completing her doctorate in creative nonfiction at Ohio University.

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Advanced Praise for The Rainy Season:

“Whether safari travelogues or tributes to the legacy of Nelson Mandela, what most Americans read about South Africa is far more superficial than Maggie Messitt’s gritty vision of the country. In the tradition of writers like James Agee and Katherine Boo, she has immersed herself deeply in the everyday lives of people struggling with AIDS, early death, corruption, false promises, grinding rural poverty, and the daily struggle to make ends meet in a society that tourists and most foreign correspondents never see. This is a profoundly compassionate book, that truly takes you inside the lives of those in it.” —Adam Hochschild, author pf King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

The Rainy Season is a delight of closely observed detail from the lives of three memorable characters in a remote South African village. Skillfully taking us through the quiet drama of an unusually generous rainy season in the bushveld, Messitt gives an insight into a world that is key to understanding South Africa today.” —Greg Marinovich, author, The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War.

Thursday, June 11, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Rebecca Dinerstein reads from The Sunlit Night

From an exhilarating new voice, a stunning debut novel which Jonathan Safran Foer calls as "lyrical as a poem, psychologically rich as a thriller."

In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended - Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father's last wish: to be buried "at the top of the world." They have come to learn how to be alone.

But in Lofoten, an archipelago of six tiny islands in the Norwegian Sea, ninety-five miles north of the Arctic Circle, they form a bond that fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes, offering solace amidst great uncertainty. With nimble and sure-footed prose, Dinerstein reveals that no matter how far we travel to claim our own territory, it is ultimately love that gives us our place in the world.

Rebecca Dinerstein is the author of Lofoten, a bilingual English-Norwegian collection of poems. She received her B.A. from Yale and her M.F.A. in Fiction from New York University, where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn.

Friday, June 19, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Launch of Trans Terra: Towards a Cartoon Philosophy by Tom Kaczynski

Trans Terra is a mutant memoir that melds comics, politics and philosophy into a heady brew exploring work, creativity, emergence of the new, and the possibility of utopia.

The author's journey begins in the frigid wastelands of contemporary consumer culture. Like a surreal HMS Beagle, Trans Terra meanders through time and space exploring archipelagos real and imagined. Prominent stops include Soviet Siberia, Communist Poland, Plato's Atlantis, 19th century New York and Sir Thomas More's Utopia. Arriving on the polluted shores of collapsing global civilization, Tom K glimpses the faint light of utopia beyond the veil of Apocalypse. Taking cue from Salvador Dali's Paranoid Critical-Method the author unearths improbable connections between thinkers as disparate as Ignatious Donnelly, Alvin Toffler, Rem Koolhaas , Slavoj Žižek and many others. Translated into several languages, Trans Terra is a comic-book manifesto for the post-capitalist-crisis world.

Tom Kaczynski is an Eisner- and Ignatz-nominated cartoonist, designer, illustrator, writer, teacher and publisher based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His comics have appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, MOME, Punk Planet, the Drama, and many other publications. As a designer he’s worked on projects for many well-known companies including AOL, Motorola, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Herman Miller, and for non-profits including IRC (International Rescue Committee). He currently teaches comics at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and occasionally contributes to the Rain Taxi Review of Books.

Sunday, June 21, 3:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Meet Andrew Knapp and Momo, author and star of Find Momo: Coast to Coast

Momo loves to hide—and you’ll love looking for him! In this follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Find Momo, the canine Instagram superstar (and his best buddy, Andrew Knapp) travel across the United States and Canada, visiting iconic landmarks and unique off-the-map marvels. Look for Momo hiding in Grand Central Station, in front of the White House, and in the French Quarter of New Orleans . . . as well as at diners, bookstores, museums, and other locales that only a seasoned road-tripper like Andrew could find. It’s part game, part photography book, and a whole lot of fun.

Andrew Knapp is a freelance interface designer and photographer from northern Ontario who desires to make everyday routines into creative adventures. Along with his commercial photography and design work, he’s filmed a TEDx Talk, collaborated on an Instamissions project with MTV and Sony, and cofounded the We Live Up Here collaboration exploring life in Sudbury, Ontario.

Momo is an adorable brown-eyed border collie, Andrew’s BFF, and a genius at hiding. He has over 301,000 Instagram fans.

Monday, July 27, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Cynthia Swanson reads from The Bookseller

A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

Cynthia Swanson is a writer and mid-century modern designer. She has published short fiction in 13th Moon, Kalliope, Sojourner, and other periodicals; her story in 13th Moon was a Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and three children. The Bookseller is her first novel.

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