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Wednesday, May 27, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Tom Weber presents 100 Things to Do in the Twin Cities Before You Die

It's hard enough to learn and master one city, but twin cities?

Behold, the essential guide awaits you to achieve the most rewarding bucket list entries for the good people of the Twin Cities. Whether it's strolling the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, sipping a drink on the Frost's patio in St. Paul on a warm summer's night, or biking to Stillwater for lunch on the St. Croix River, we've got you covered. We're ready to equip you with outdoor activities that will let you declare victory over the harsh Minnesota winters, but there are also plenty of indoor items for when Jack Frost truly has it in for you. The hearty Minnesotan will know it's a fool's errand to let weather dictate life's pleasures, and a good century of items for all seasons awaits you. Two truly is better than one, and the Twin Cities are waiting to be explored.

Tom Weber is a host for Minnesota Public Radio News. Originally from the Chicago area, he was familiar with cold and winter. But upon moving here at the start of a two-week, below-zero cold snap, Tom quickly embraced all things Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul and generally likes to spend his free time outside (even in the winter) and enjoys biking, hiking, running and cross-country skiing. 100 Things to Do in the Twin Cities Before You Die is his first book.

We will also be holding a special raffle for this event, featuring prizes from a number of the places mentioned in the book! You can enter in the store starting Monday, May 18th in the store, and prizes will be drawn on May 27th immediately following the event. Must be present to win

Raffle includes prizes from:

Brave New Workshop
The Depot Ice Rink
Foshay Museum and Observation Deck
Matt's Bar
Minnesota Institute of Arts
Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Steamboat Minnehaha
Twin City Model Railroad Museum

Thursday, May 28, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Scott Barnett presents Gumption: Taking Bubba Gump from Movie to Restaurant

This is the story about how maverick restaurant CEO, Scott Barnett, gambled his reputation on an idea of creating a restaurant chain, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, out of a single movie.

Written in a cinematic style, Gumption: Taking Bubba Gump from Movie to Restaurant is about the creation, growth, and sale of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. The concept began when Paramount Pictures reached out to see if there was interest in creating a restaurant based on the movie Forrest Gump. It is also the personal story of the author’s growth as a CEO and creator of restaurant concepts. A host of situations are described such as restaurant concept creation, high stakes boardroom confrontations, and escaping corrupt officials in foreign lands. The narrative is partly an unvarnished peak behind the everyday scenes of restaurants, movie studios, and Wall Street.

Gumption is not only a behind the scenes look at the very unusual world of restaurants, it also tells the inside story of movie studio machinations, corporate politics, and the trials and tribulations of expanding a global business with built-in brand recognition and goodwill.

Scott Barnett is a well-known figure on the US and international restaurant scene. He was President and CEO of Rusty Pelican Restaurants, Inc. from 1992 until 1998, and was Found and CEO of Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurants from its inception. After selling the company in 2011, he worked as Senior Adviser with Pulo Run Capital Partners, an Asia-based Investment Bank and Private Equity firm in Hong Kong. Barnett has actively consulted with a number of restaurant companies world-wide and is a recipient of numerous awards within the hospitality industry. He is a recognized expert on transactions, branding, concept development and overall operations.

Monday, June 1, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415
The Loft Literary Center presents Lesley Nneka Arimah: Commonwealth Prize Reading and Discussion

Minnesota-based writer Lesley Nneka Arimah has been chosen as the regional winner for Africa for the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Awarded by Commonwealth Writers, this prestigious prize is open to new and established writers across the Commonwealth. This event will feature a reading by Lesley followed by a discussion with Fred D'aguiar, a poet and novelist as well as a Commonwealth judge

Lesley Nneka Arimah grew up in the Nigeria and the UK. She currently resides in the US in the state of Minnesota where she spends the winters in hiding, working on a novel and a collection of short stories.

Fred D’Aguiar’s dozen books of poetry and fiction have been translated into a dozen languages. A new collection, The Rose of Toulouse, also from Carcanet, appeared in June 2013 and his sixth novel, Children of Paradise, inspired by the events at Jonestown was published by HarperCollins (US) and Granta (UK) in early 2014. Born in London in 1960 of Guyanese parents and brought up in Guyana, he has taught at Virginia Tech since 2003.

Wednesday, June 3, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415

The Loft Literary Center presents a special reading with Allison Hedge Coke

Please join American Book Award-winning poet, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke for a reading from her latest collection, Streaming, "a veritable symphony, her poems embracing musicality and dissonance like the best of modern composers."

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke is an American Book Award winning poet and the author of Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Blood Run, and Burn, as well as a memoir, Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer. She is the editor of anthologies Sing: Poetry of Indigenous Americas, Effigies and Effigies II. Currently, she serves as Distinguised Writer at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Hedge Coke came of age working fields, factories, and waters and is currently at work on a film, Red Dust: Native Resiliency in the Dirty Thirties, chronicling mixed-blood and Native life.

Hedge Coke will be teaching a class at the Loft on June 3rd from 1-4 p.m. called, "The Bird's Nest: Eco Ethos and Organic Form." The class will motivate investigation and subtle application through exploration of some amazing organic poetry structures. Please see the course schedule for further details.

Thursday, June 4, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Launch of Jason Good's new book Rock, Meet Window: A Father-Son Story

Humorist and family-man Jason Good is an only child with an atypical story to tell. His isn't the usual rant about how hard it is to be a modern father or a tale about a damaging relationship with his father. Jason grew up with a charismatic, communicative, affectionate, and frustrated political science professor for a father - a man who taught him most everything about how to be a dad, how to live. Jason was figuring out how to parent his own two young boys when his dad was diagnosed with cancer and told he had nine months to live. That moment, and the year that followed, inspired Jason to tell the story of something he had always taken for granted: how his father had earned his true friendship and admiration in adulthood by the way he had parented him to manhood.

Jason Good's book shows how an imperfect father can be perfection in all the ways that matter in the end, moving us to alternately hoot and become wet-eyed through his retelling of the friction points and lessons learned. Ultimately, this book inspires us to reconsider our own relationships and to appreciate the power of fatherhood.

Jason Good, also the author of This Is Ridiculous This Is Amazing, is a writer, comedian, family man, and the blogger behind JasonGood.net and the viral posts "3 Minutes Inside the Head of My 2-Year Old" and "46 Reasons My Three-Year-Old Might Be Freaking Out." He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Saturday, June 6, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Matthew Thomas reads from We Are Not Ourselves

Destined to be a classic, this “powerfully moving” (Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding), multigenerational debut novel of an Irish-American family is nothing short of a “masterwork” (Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End).

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.

When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.

Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.

Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, We Are Not Ourselves heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction.

Matthew Thomas was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he has an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His New York Times-bestselling novel We Are Not Ourselves has been shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, nominated for the Folio Prize, and named a Notable Book of the year by the New York Times. He lives with his wife and twin children in New Jersey.

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.

Monday, June 8, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Greg Barnhisel reads from Cold War Modernists: Art, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy

American cultural diplomats of the 1940s and 1950s sought to show European intellectuals that the United States had more to offer than military power and commercial exploitation. Through magazines, traveling art exhibits, touring musical shows, radio programs, book translations, and conferences, they deployed the revolutionary aesthetics of modernism to prove—particularly to the leftists whose Cold War loyalties they hoped to secure—that American art and literature were culturally rich and politically significant.

Yet by repurposing modernism, American diplomats and cultural authorities remade the once revolutionary movement into a content-free collection of artistic techniques suitable for middlebrow consumption. They turned the avant-garde into the establishment. Cold War Modernists documents how the CIA, the State Department, and private cultural diplomats transformed modernist art and literature into pro-Western propaganda during the Cold War. Drawing on interviews, previously unknown archival materials, and the stories of such figures and institutions as William Faulkner, Stephen Spender, Irving Kristol, James Laughlin, and the Voice of America, Barnhisel documents how the U.S. government reconfigured modernism as a trans-Atlantic movement, a joint endeavor between American and European artists, with profound implications for the art that followed and the character of American identity in the twentieth century.

Greg Barnhisel teaches in the English department at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His previous books include James Laughlin, New Directions,and the Remaking of Ezra Pound and Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda, and the Cold War.

Tuesday, June 9, 7:00pm - REPUBLIC at Calhoun Square 3001 Hennepin Ave South
Books & Bars discusses The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life as she sees it is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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, 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.

Sunday, June 14, 2:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
A Talk and Discussion with the Contributors to Class Lives: Stories from across Our Economic Divide

Class Lives is an anthology of narratives dramatizing the lived experience of class in America. It includes forty original essays from authors who represent a range of classes, genders, races, ethnicities, ages, and occupations across the United States. Born into poverty, working class, the middle class, and the owning class—and every place in between—the contributors describe their class journeys in narrative form, recounting one or two key stories that illustrate their growing awareness of class and their place, changing or stable, within the class system.

The stories in Class Lives are both gripping and moving. One contributor grows up in hunger and as an adult becomes an advocate for the poor and homeless. Another acknowledges the truth that her working-class father’s achievements afforded her and the rest of the family access to people with power. A gifted child from a working-class home soon understands that intelligence is a commodity but finds his background incompatible with his aspirations and so attempts to divide his life into separate worlds.

Together, these essays form a powerful narrative about the experience of class and the importance of learning about classism, class cultures, and the intersections of class, race, and gender. Class Lives will be a helpful resource for students, teachers, sociologists, diversity trainers, activists, and a general audience. It will leave readers with an appreciation of the poignancy and power of class and the journeys that Americans grapple with on a daily basis.

Tuesday, June 16, 4:30pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Launch party for Colin T. Nelson's Up Like Thunder

Local suspense author, Colin T. Nelson, is hosting a release party for his new mystery, Up Like Thunder.

When an American woman working in Myanmar disappears, an investigator must go to the country that's been closed to the world for over fifty years. He will travel into the heart of darkness to find and rescue her - if he can manage to survive himself! As one reviewer put it: "Reading this story is like going to Myanmar yourself!"

Colin Nelson has worked as a trial lawyer for almost forty years. His stories out the courtroom are funny and suspenseful. Up Like Thunder is his fifth mystery. He has also had a short story published in a crime anthology called A Festival of Crime. He is married with two adult children and plays the saxophone in a jazz band and a Bob Dylan rock band.

Thursday, June 18, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Lori Horvitz reads from The Girls of Usually with special guest Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of Dandarians

Lori Horvitz grew up ashamed of her Eastern European Jewish roots, confused about her sexuality, and idolizing the "shiksa in her living room," a blonde all-American girl whose photo came in a double frame and was displayed next to a family photo from a bar mitzvah. Unable to join the "happy blonde families," she becomes a "hippie chick" who travels the world in search of … something. The Girls of Usually chronicles each trip, each romance, each experiment in reinventing herself that draws her closer to discovering the secret door through which she can escape from deep-rooted patterns and accept her own cultural, ethnic, and sexual identity.

Lori Horvitz's writing has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Hotel Amerika, and Chattahoochee Review. She has been awarded writing fellowships from Yaddo, Ragdale, Cottages at Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Blue Mountain Center. A professor of literature and language at UNC Asheville, Horvitz also directs the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She received a PhD in English from SUNY at Albany and an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College.

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Based on sources as diverse as Heian period female Japanese writers and the world of science fiction, and drawing on her own experience as a second-generation Japanese American, acclaimed poet Lee Ann Roripaugh’s fourth collection Dandarians explores a series of "word betrayals”: English words misunderstood in transmission from her Japanese mother that came to take on symbolic ramifications in her early years. Co-opting and repurposing the language of knowledge and of misunderstanding, and dialoguing in original ways with notions of diaspora and hybrid identities, these poems demonstrate the many ways we attempt to be understood, culminating in an experience of aural awe.

A second-generation Japanese American, Lee Ann Roripaugh writes poetry that deals with themes of culture and identity in all its forms. She has received numerous awards, serves as editor in chief of the "South Dakota Review," and directs the creative writing program at the University of South Dakota. She lives in Vermillion, SD.

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.

Tuesday, June 23, 6:15pm - Amsterdam Bar and Hall (6 W. 6th Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102)
Books & Bars discusses The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life as she sees it is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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.

Friday, June 26, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Dean Bakopoulos reads from Summerlong with introduction by local author Charles Baxter

The author of Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon and My American Unhappiness delivers his breakout novel: a deft and hilarious exploration of the simmering tensions beneath the surface of a contented marriage which explode in the bedrooms and backyards of a small town over the course of a long, hot summer.

In the sweltering heat of one summer in a small Midwestern town, Claire and Don Lowry discover that married life isn’t quite as they’d predicted.

One night Don, a father of three, leaves his house for an evening stroll, only to wake up the next morning stoned, and sleeping in a hammock next to a young woman he barely knows. His wife, Claire, leaves the house on this same night to go on a midnight run—only to find herself bumming cigarettes and beer outside the all-night convenience store.

As the summer lingers and the temperature rises, this quotidian town’s adults grow wilder and more reckless while their children grow increasingly confused. Claire, Don, and their neighbors and friends find themselves on an existential odyssey, exploring the most puzzling quandaries of marriage and maturity. When does a fantasy become infidelity? When does compromise become resentment? When does routine become boring monotony? Can Claire and Don survive everything that befalls them in this one summer, forgive their mistakes, and begin again?

Award-winning writer Dean Bakopoulos delivers a brutally honest and incredibly funny novel about the strange and tenuous ties that bind us, and the strange and unlikely places we find connection. Full of mirth, melancholy, and redemption, Summerlong explores what happens when life goes awry.

Dean Bakopoulos was born and raised in metro Detroit and is the author of Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon and My American Unhappiness. He has lectured at Michigan, Cornell, UW-Madison, and other universities about the economic and environmental problems facing the post-industrial Rust Belt, and has published related essays and criticism in the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, the Progressive, and others.

Charles Baxter was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College, in Saint Paul. After completing graduate work in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he taught for several years at Wayne State University in Detroit. In 1989, he moved to the Department of English at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and its MFA program. He now teaches at the University of Minnesota. Baxter is the author of five novels, five collections of short stories, three collections of poems, two collections of essays on fiction, and is the editor of other works.

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.

Sunday, August 2, 4:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

J. Ryan Stradal reads from Kitchens of the Great Midwest, with event sponsor Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen

Already a hotly anticipated debut about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation

When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

J. Ryan Stradal edits the fiction section of the Nervous Breakdown. His writing has appeared in the Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and McSweeney’s: The Goods, among other places. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles and has worked as a TV producer, notably for the History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers and Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.

The Copper Hen is a Cakery and Kitchen bringing farm to table food, cakes, bread, and beer to Minneapolis.

Thursday, August 13, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Lauren Fox reads from Days of Awe

The celebrated author of Friends Like Us now gives us a raw, achingly funny novel about a woman who, after the death of her best friend, must face the crisis in her marriage, the fury of her almost-teenage daughter, and the possibility that she might open her cantankerous heart to someone new.

Only a year ago Isabel Moore was married, the object of adoration of her ten-year-old daughter, and thought she knew everything about her wild, extravagant, beloved best friend, Josie. But in that one short year: her husband moved out and rented his own apartment; her daughter grew into a moody insomniac; and Josie–impulsive, funny, secretive Josie–was killed behind the wheel in a single-car accident. As Isabel tries to make sense of this shattering loss and unravel the months leading up to Josie’s death, she comes to understand the shifts, large and small, that can upend a friendship and an entire life. Heartbreaking and wryly funny, Days of Awe is a masterly exploration of marriage, motherhood, and the often surprising shape of new love.

Lauren Fox, who earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota, is the author of the novels Still Life with Husband and Friends Like Us. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, Marie Claire, Parenting, Psychology Today, the Rumpus, and Salon. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two daughters.

Friday, September 4, 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.

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