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.
Torn from an idyllic life with a loving, extended family in 1960's Alabama, young Johnny Turnipseed found himself in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a father he no longer recognized and empty cupboards. A.C. Turnipseed's alcoholism and womanizing started a chain reaction of poverty, violence, addiction and despair that nearly destroyed three generations.
From lost and frightened little boy to gang leader, drug dealer and pimp to one of the nation's most respected pioneers of community restoration, John Turnipseed's story of transformation and restoration is told with unflinching honesty and contagious hope.
"I would begin thinking about summer on our lake as early as Easter. Yes, it was our lake, not just the lake."
In this classic story of a midwestern boyhood, Curtiss Anderson takes readers into the colorful lives of his robust Norwegian family and their wonderfully familiar summerscape in northern Minnesota: the lake place. Sweet childhood reminiscences comprise this coming-of-age memoir set in the poignant summers of the 1930s and '40s. Conversations on the porch with Dear Old Aunt Ingabord, a heavily accented relative from the Old Country. A budding romance and heartbreak with young Sarah, who lived across the lake. Wild blueberry picking behind Turnaround Island. Joyful tales devoted to cherished dogs he had outlived-old Shep and Mickey, Nebby, and feisty Bunny. And fond memories of Clara and Leigh, the loving couple who treated the budding writer as if he was their own child.
Anderson revisits the notes and letters he scripted as a boy, originally recorded on his hand-me-down Underwood typewriter-his first foray into what would become a distinguished publishing career-to offer Blueberry Summers. Here, the nationally recognized magazine editor offers a funny and warm story of experiences that inspire the imagination.
Curtiss Andersonis a writer and editorial consultant. He has enjoyed an illustrious career with Hearst Magazines and Better Homes and Gardens and as editor in chief of Ladies Home Journal. He lives in Tiburon,
California, with his wife, Anne. From the Wall Street Journal, Coming of Age at Lakeside,
By ALLAN CARLSON
June 7, 2008 My summers have almost always meant a trip to Minnesota lakes: for my first 15 years, to Leech Lake; for the 40-plus since, to Lake of the Woods or the Boundary Waters canoe country. The landscape is on the edge of the Canadian Shield, defined by rough granite outcrops, birch and pine trees, bogs, and lakes carved deep by the glaciers. Most of the lakes are connected by streams or old Indian portages. The year-long residents of this area are mostly the descendants of Swedes and Norwegians, with an occasional Dane or Finn providing diversity. The churches are mostly Lutheran. Remnants of the old languages survive in town festivals ("Uff Da Burgers"), cuisine (the formidable lutefisk) and backwoods bars where "Skl " remains the favored salute. Returning each summer has been, for me, more than a homecoming. As my own son, standing on our favorite island in Lake of the Woods, put it at age 12: "Here is the place where I come alive." In "Blueberry Summers," a memoir, Curtiss Anderson also describes "the transformation that occurred when I arrived at the lake." In satisfying detail, he narrates life in and about an old farmhouse on a northeastern Minnesota chain lake during the 1930s and early 1940s. Mr. Anderson, a former magazine editor and writer, has a novelist's flair for framing characters. There is Leigh Johnson, his father's best friend, who became more than a second father to the permanently towheaded boy. Leigh was a meticulous man who knew the lake country as well as any Indian guide. A skilled fisherman, he remarked that "God doesn't count the hours fishing." There is Clara, Leigh's wife, mistress of the kitchen, whose love of life took form in her potato salad, exquisite doughnuts and Blue Boy Pie (combining wild blueberries, raspberries and blackberries). Though young Curtiss never saw his own parents touch each other, Clara and Leigh "were quite sexy in a cozy sort of way." There is Uncle Skoal, blond, handsome and scampish, who sported a wooden leg from a chain-saw accident. Commenting on Skoal's favorite pastimes, Aunt Dora concluded that "women would finish in a dead heat with gin." There is Great Aunt Ingeborg, an ancient Norwegian who became young Curtiss's "constant, endearing, and bewitching companion" as he recuperated from an accident. She talked of her wayfaring husband, Nels, who had been an iron miner and a pilot on Lake Superior ore boats. And there are the Schumachers, a refugee family with 12 children that had fled the Nazis, settled in a ramshackle farm across the lake and protected a secret. This family "grew, sewed, farmed, fished, trapped, or shot practically everything they ate or owned." Curtiss is drawn to Sarah, the eldest daughter, a horse-loving girl with exotic eyes and "velvety black hair." This little book is full of diverting tales. During a canoe trip, Curtiss catches a 10-pound walleye, puts it on a stringer in the water and then loses this great prize to ravenous turtles. (My own 9-pound, 6-ounce walleye, hooked at Leech Lake when I was 5, suffered an equally tragic fate.) Curtiss's and Skoal's illegal "catch" of a near-record 60- pound carp leads to white lies and notoriety. "Blueberry Summers" has a dark side. Mr. Anderson explores his troubled relationship with his parents -- saying the word "Dad," he confesses, "doesn't come easy for me" -- and he relates a disturbing incident on a "dead" lake that nearly took his life. The book ends with a tragedy. "All the harmony and beauty -- and security -- I had always associated with the lake," he writes, "was destroyed forever." And yet those qualities are also recovered in "Blueberry Summer," an ably crafted, true-life coming-of-age tale. The book will delight anyone who has ever known the lake country of the Upper Midwest. More broadly, it will reward and please readers who have ever had in their childhoods a special summer place.
"I would begin thinking about summer on our lake as early as Easter. Yes, it was our lake, not just the lake."
In this classic story of a midwestern boyhood, Curtiss Anderson takes readers into the colorful lives of his robust Norwegian family and their wonderfully familiar summerscape in northern Minnesota: the lake place. Sweet childhood reminiscences comprise this coming-of-age memoir set in the poignant summers of the 1930s and '40s. Conversations on the porch with Dear Old Aunt Ingaborg, a heavily accented relative from the Old Country. A budding romance and heartbreak with young Sarah, who lived across the lake. Wild blueberry picking behind Turnaround Island. Joyful tales devoted to the cherished dogs he had outlived--old Shep and Mickey, Nebby, and feisty Bunny. And fond memories of Clara and Leigh, the loving couple who treated the budding writer as if he was their own child.
Anderson revisits the notes and letters he scripted as a boy, originally recorded on his hand-me-down Underwood typewriter--his first foray into what would become a distinguished publishing career--to offer Blueberry Summers. Here, the nationally recognized editor offers a funny and warm story of experiences that inspire the imagination.
In 1930 two novice paddlers--Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port--launched a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe into the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling for an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Without benefit of radio, motor, or good maps, the teenagers made their way over 2,250 miles of rivers, lakes, and difficult portages. Nearly four months later, after shooting hundreds of sets of rapids and surviving exceedingly bad conditions and even worse advice, the ragged, hungry adventurers arrived in York Factory on Hudson Bay--with winter freeze-up on their heels. First published in 1935, Canoeing with the Cree is Sevareid's classic account of this youthful odyssey.
Praise for Canoeing with the Cree
"Canoeing with the Cree is an all-time favorite of mine." --Ann Bancroft, Arctic explorer and co-author of No Horizon Is So Far
"Two high school graduates make an amazing journey . . . showing indomitable courage that carried them through to their destination. Humor and a spirit of adventure made a grand, good time of it, in spite of storms, rapids, long portages and silent wildernesses." --Library Journal
Beautiful, humorous, and lucidly written, A Country Doctor's Casebook is a heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking treasure of American rural medical history. For those who may have become disenchanted about the craft of medicine, here the enchantment returns. Pierre Delattre, author of Woman on the Cross, Episodes, and Tales of a Dalai Lama This pioneer physician's account of medicine, life, and death in the north of northern Minnesota is suffused by humanitarian warmth and humor. We all are there: Native Americans and immigrants, our lives beset by accidents and illness, and above all the love and dedication making us who we are, helped by our own Galen. A great read.Robert Treuer, author of The Tree Farm: Replanting a Life A Country Doctor's Casebook is a delight--wonderfully written with a wry sense of humor. These stories ring true: compassionate, gentle, loving portraits of people for whom Dr. MacDonald cared deeply.David Hilfiker, md, author of Healing the Wounds: A Physician Looks at His Work and Not All of Us Are Saints: A Doctor's Journey with the Poor
House calls. Flu epidemics. Terminal illnesses. Coroner duties. Fishhook incidents. For more than three decades, Roger A. MacDonald served the people of Minnesota's north woods as a family practitioner and jack-of-all-trades, even responding to the occasional ?barn call? for ailing animals. In this new collection of stories, MacDonald takes readers on another round of house calls, office visits, and emergency summons. His remote practice saw patients of every age and type, from a local child with a penchant for putting things up his nose to a dedicated church pianist with untreatable cancer, from a teenager with unexplained seizures to a vacationing Mafioso recovering from a heart attack. MacDonald offers tales of patients, colleagues, and neighbors, probing their very human responses to medical dilemmas and sharing humorous and touching episodes in equal portions. A Country Doctor's Chronicle is a charming collection of vignettes?some hopeful, some heartbreaking?that offer a unique look at a bygone era of twentieth-century rural America.
This biography detailing the life of music man G. Oliver Riggs, researched and written by his great grand-daughter, is a story about civic pride, community participation, and the power of music to transform lives and connect people across generations.