The Antelope Wife extends the branches of the families who populate Louise Erdrich's earlier novels, and once again, her unsentimental, unsparing writing captures the Native American sense of despair, magic, and humor. Rooted in myth and set in contemporary Minneapolis, this poetic and haunting story spans a century, at the center of which is a mysterious and graceful woman known as the Antelope Wife. Elusive, silent, and bearing a mystical link to nature, she embodies a complicated quest for love and survival that impacts lives in unpredictable ways. Her tale is an unforgettable tapestry of ancestry, fate, harrowing tragedy, and redemption, that seems at once modern and eternal.
Ed Fischer is a cartoonist syndicated throughout the Upper Midwest. Here, he lends his perspective on what it means to be a Minnesotan. Clever cartoons portray the stamina, fortitude and practical nature of residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. You'll laugh as you relate to the outrageously funny observations about life in Minnesota.
"The James Gang raid on the bank at Northfield and its aftermath is America's penultimate rip-snorting horseback robbery story. The outlaws were the most daring and most wanted men in the nation. They dressed well, rode fine horses, were sociable and well-mannered. Conflicting reports arose about nearly everything that happened in the raid and to the participants afterwards. A century of writers made the confusion worse. Mr. Koblas doesn't purport to have all the answers. He presents a book based on exhaustive research that is essentially a presentation of all available reports. He adds much information about something virtually unknown: his research on the pros and cons of Bill Stiles being a ninth man at Northfield who escaped to die peacefully in Los Angeles years later. A masterpiece of historical research. The most detailed examination of a James Gang event to date. Should be required reading for every student of Western history." Paul Meredith, Violent Kin Magazine
The Norwegians, who first arrived in territorial days, created lasting farming settlements, especially in the Red River Valley. Their Lutheran churches continue to dot the landscape. But their experience was also urban, as they entered the trades and industries of the Twin Cities. Today, the Norwegian influence is evident in Minnesota art, culture, cuisine, and speech. Norwegian culture permeates the state's character and helps define Minnesota's unique social, political, and business environment.
"My investigation of Minnesota murders over the years revealed no new motives for killing anyone. The old ones are perfectly satisfactory. . . . I hope you will find these murders interesting. I regret that I could not report the most ingenious and remarkable ones. They looked like accidents or natural deaths and were never discovered."--Walter N. Trenerry
Murder in Minnesota features some of the state's most infamous criminals--a collection of fascinating and disagreeable characters usually ignored by historians. They live again in these pages as the conniving, clever, mad, or pitiful creatures they were. Fifteen chapters--involving both well-known and obscure practitioners of the deadly art--tell the stories of Ann Blansky, the only woman hanged in Minnesota; the famous Younger brothers, who with the James boys robbed the Northfield bank in 1876; the six Arbogast women of St. Paul, who kept a murderous secret that still remains undisclosed; and many more.
Praise for Murder in Minnesota:
"You should not overlook this exemplary work."--New York Times Book Review
"An exemplary treatment of regional history as revealed by the spotlight of crime. Would that the other . . . state historical societies might follow Minnesota's noble example "--Anthony Boucher, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
"A fine example of true-crime writing for all devotees of that form."--San Francisco Chronicle
Winner of the Minnesota Book Award and the Red River Heritage Award
The Haymakers is an epic--the history of man's struggle with nature as well as man's struggle against machines. It relates the story of farmers and their obligations to their families, to the animals they fed, and to the land they tended. But The Haymakersis also an elegy--to a way of life fast disappearing from our landscape. In the most heartfelt essays, Hoffbeck chronicles his own family's struggle to hold onto their family farm and his personal struggle in deciding to leave farming for another way of life.
Hoffbeck also seeks to document and preserve the commonplace methods of haymaking, information about haying that might otherwise be lost to posterity. He describes the tools and the methods of haymaking as well as the relentless demands of the farm. Using diaries, agricultural guidebooks and personal interviews, the folkways of cutting, raking, and harvesting hay have been recorded in these chapters. In the end, this book is not so much about agricultural history as it is about family history, personal history--how farm families survive, even persevere.
To some, the fields and farms of the Upper Midwest all look the same, but to the people who have struggled to raise families and make a living from the soil, each farm is a "small kingdom" with a rich and often troubled history. In Mapping the Farm, John Hildebrand, whom the New Yorker magazine praised for his "skill of mind and craft," focuses on the O'Neills, the family of his wife Sharon, and their 240 acres near Rochester, Minnesota.
When William O'Neill began raising dairy cows in Minnesota in 1880, America was a nation of farmers. A little over a hundred years later, William's grandson Ed is too old and ill to continue farming. The farm is being chopped into subdivisions, an interstate has cut off access to the river, and changing technology and the tightening market have made small farms a thing of the past. Ed's children and grandchildren gather to try to find a way to keep the farm in the family.
In this absorbing and hauntingly beautiful book, Hildebrand tells the story of four generations of farming O'Neills and, in doing so, tells a quintessentially American story of land and labor, memory and loss--and one family's struggle to keep their dream alive. From boom times to bust, the bloody farm strikes of the Great Depression to the bittersweet optimism of a county fair, Hildebrand weaves a narrative that is at once an elegy for a vanishing way of life and a celebration of the tenacious and deeply held American values that have made today's way of life possible.
In the 1930s and the 1940s Rondo Avenue was at the heart of St. Paul's largest black neighborhood. African Americans whose families had lived in Minnesota for decades and others who were just arriving from the South made up a vibrant, vital community that was in many ways independent of the white society around it.
The Days of Rondo is Evelyn Fairbanks's affectionate memoir of this lively neighborhood. Its pages are filled with fascinating people: Mama and Daddy--Willie Mae and George Edwards--who taught her about love and pride an dignity; Aunt Good, a tall and stately woman with a "queenly secretive attitude"; brother Morris, who "took the time to teach me about the street and the people I would find there"; Mrs. Neal, the genteel activist who showed her the difference between a salad fork and a dessert fork; Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, who started a girls' string band; and a whole assortment of street vendors and playmates who made up the world of her childhood
As she grew up, Fairbanks saw many different sides of her community. Her words bring to life the all-day Sunday services at the Sanctified church, the "perfect days" of her girlhood, and the ghost stories told on the porch of a soft midwestern summer evening. But she also remembers a visit to relatives in Georgia, the deaths of her Mama and Daddy, and the difficult lessons her free-wheeling brother taught her about friends and money. By the time Evelyn was a teenager, World War II was changing St. Paul and the whole world in ways that touched upon her own life. And through the years she was also discovering what it meant to grow up as a black person in Minnesota.
A gifted storyteller, Fairbanks has recreated the patterns of her neighborhood life in a northern city. Her story ends in the mid-1950s, a few years before the Rondo neighborhood was destroyed by freeway construction. In preserving her memories of this distinctive community, Evelyn Fairbanks has added an important dimension to our understanding of Minnesota during those years.
"Fairbanks spins yarns about St. Paul's black society with the flair of a campfire storyteller." --St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Must reading for anyone wanting a clearer understanding of the history of race relations." --Library Journal
"Narrative history at its best." --Choice
"Her prose is simple and concise and is leavened by a rich sense of humor." --Minnesota Monthly
"The Days of Rondo is an interpretive account of events in the life of a black family from the South struggling for survival and meaning in a northern city. Rich in humor and detail, it provides a well-illustrated mosaic of socioeconomic, ethnic, and class realities as seen through the eyes of a young black woman." --David V. Taylor, author of African-Americans in Minnesota
Ruth F. Brin's compelling memoir reveals the childhood beginnings of her life as feminist thinker, poet, and well-respected writer of the Jewish faith. Brin draws close and loving portraits of her parents and older brothers, and outlines the history of her paternal grandparents who came to America from Austria-Hungary in the late 1880s to settle in Saint Paul. Early on, Brin relates her growing sense of how her religious faith will be integrated into her life and the ways in which she and her family must confront and survive instances of anti-Semitism. The author's original poems combine with her family's traditional stories to make Bittersweet Berries a unique narrative of one woman's beginnings and growth as an accomplished writer and religious thinker.
"Because of their relative stability, streets offer an incomparable framework for looking at the urban past and comparing it to the present," writes Millett in his introduction to Twin Cities Then and Now, which consists of seventy-two historic street scenes matched with new photographs taken from the same locations. Accompanying each scene is an informative essay that examines the often astonishing changes wrought by time and circumstance.
The historic photographs, some published here for the first time, include views taken from as long ago as the 1880s and as recently as the late 1950s. Jerry Mathiason's elegant new black-and-white photographs complement these historic images and provide superb visual comparisons between then and now, while Millett's lively text puts each scene into clear focus. Twin Cities Then and Now also includes four specially prepared maps along with detailed informational graphics that identify hundreds of significant buildings and places visible in the photographs.
Twin Cities Then and Now is an engaging, startling, and at times heartbreaking look at the dramatic march of progress in Minneapolis and St. Paul. For, as Millett also writes in his introduction, "to observe a city over time is to see, for better or worse, the remorseless power of change."