The modern Norwegian-American Christmas is a warm and regenerative family holiday for millions of Americans whose ancestors came from Norway--celebrated with family feasts of lutefisk, lefse, r mmegr t, rull, and fruit soup, observed in homes where trees are decorated with straw ornaments, flags, and heart-shaped baskets. It is the time to carry on customs whose origins have been lost in the past.
Kathleen Stokker's Keeping Christmas: Yuletide Traditions in Norway and the New Land brings home the stories of Christmas customs in both countries. Norwegian immigrants carried with them the folk traditions, developed over centuries, that shaped their identities, and they held those practices especially dear at Christmas time, remembering family members left behind. But in the U.S., they and their descendents met the newly evolving traditions of the highly commercial American Christmas, a powerful homogenizing force in a nation of immigrants. And the celebration of Christmas in Norway continued to evolve as well, as the holiday--influenced in the twentieth century by U.S. practices--became more child-centered and more commercial. Stokker describes and traces the development of folkways on both sides of the ocean, from their origins to their practice today.
With fascinating details, with scores of accounts of ancient and modern Christmases, with recipes and photographs, this book reminds Norwegians and Norwegian Americans of their connections to each other and explains how their celebrations differ on this most joyous of holidays.
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
This best-selling book is a look at Minnesota's history as told through the letters, diaries and photographs of people who lived it. You'll find actual letters, journal entries, photos and more woven into a marvelous documentary of Minnesota. Discover what Minnesota was like for her people--explorers, farmers, homemakers, socialites, children, laborers, lawyers and lumberjacks. A classic in its 13th printing.
"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 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.
Celebrating America's favorite cityscapes, this series combines historic interest and contemporary beauty. Then and Now features fascinating archival photographs contrasted with specially commissioned, full-color images of the same scene today. A visual lesson in the historic changes of our greatest urban landscapes.
"An impressive sampling of the vanished buildings of the Twin Cities, tracing their history and including information on who the owners and architects were, how these structures were used, why they were torn down, and what occupies each site today. Highly recommended." --Library Journal
Lost Twin Cities is an architectural and social history of the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The richly illustrated text emphasizes the growth and development of the two downtowns in the nineteenth century and their subsequent alteration by urban renewal and other forces of change in the twentieth century.