Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 19, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

William Kent Krueger presents Desolation Mountain, with Jess Lourey and Lori Rader-Day

About Desolation Mountain:

All his life, Stephen O'Connor has had visions, portents of tragedies to come.  When he’s visited time and again by the vision of a great bird shot from the sky, he knows something terrible is about to happen in Tamarack County, Minnesota.  The crash of a private plane on Desolation Mountain in a remote part of the Iron Lake Reservation, which kills a U.S. senator and most of her family, confirms Stephen’s worst fears. Stephen and his father, Cork O’Connor, join a number of Ojibwe men from the Iron Lake reservation, who were the first on the scene. They’ve barely begun to sift through the smoldering wreckage when the FBI arrives and quickly assumes control of the situation, dismissing Cork, Stephen, and the other searchers.

In that far north Minnesota county, which is overrun with agents of the FBI, NTSB, DoD, and even members of a rightwing militia, all of whom have their own agendas, O'Connor, his father, and Bo Thorson, a private security consultant, attempt to navigate a perilous course. Roadblocked by lies from the highest levels of government, uncertain who to trust, facing evermore threats the deeper they dig for answers, the three men finally understand that to get to the truth, they will have to face the great menace: the beast huge and evil lurking in the woods that surround Desolation Mountain, a beast with a murderous intent of unimaginable scale.

William Kent Krueger writes the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series. Krueger’s work has received a number of awards, including the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

About Mercy's Chase:

"An immersive voice, an intriguing story, a wonderful character—highly recommended!"—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels

What if everything you thought you knew about Stonehenge was wrong?

When agoraphobic genius Salem Wiley lands her dream job as an FBI cryptanalyst, she vows never to return to the witch hunt underworld, where ancient secrets encrypted by hunted women have the power to rewrite history. Her resolve disappears when sweet Mercy Mayfair, the child she is pledged to protect, is kidnapped. With the help of the enigmatic Agent Lucan Stone, Salem is forced to code hunt in Ireland, England, and Scotland to keep the girl alive. As the clock ticks, she must face the terrible truth that there is only one way to free Mercy: crack the unbreakable code of Stonehenge.

Jess Lourey (rhymes with "dowry") is the bestselling Lefty, Agatha, and Anthony-nominated author of the critically-acclaimed Mira James mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." Jess also writes nonfiction, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, magical realism, and feminist thrillers. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a regular Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter (check out her TEDx Talk to discover the surprising inspiration behind her writing). You can find out more at jessicalourey.com.

About Under a Dark Sky:

“A brilliant concept, brilliantly told! Under a Dark Sky is a novel that you simply can’t put down…” -Jeffery Deaver, international number-one-bestselling author

Since her husband died, Eden Wallace’s life has diminished down to a tiny pinprick, like a far-off star in the night sky. She doesn’t work, has given up on her love of photography, and is so plagued by night terrors that she can’t sleep without the lights on. Everyone, including her family, has grown weary of her grief. So when she finds paperwork in her husband’s effects indicating that he reserved a week at a dark sky park, she goes. She’s ready to shed her fear and return to the living, even if it means facing her paralyzing phobia of the dark.

But when she arrives at the park, the guest suite she thought was a private retreat is teeming with a group of twenty-somethings, all stuck in the orbit of their old college friendships. Horrified that her get-away has been taken over, Eden decides to head home the next day. But then a scream wakes the house in the middle of the night. One of the friends has been murdered. Now everyone—including Eden—is a suspect.

Everyone is keeping secrets, but only one is a murderer. As mishaps continue to befall the group, Eden must make sense of the chaos and lies to evade a ruthless killer—and she’ll have to do it before dark falls…

Lori Rader-Day’s debut mystery, The Black Hour, won the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the 2015 Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her second novel, Little Pretty Things, won the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and was a nominee for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. Little Pretty Things was named a 2015 “most arresting crime novel” by Kirkus Reviews and one of the top ten crime novels of the year by Booklist. Her third novel, The Day I Died, was an Indie Next Pick and is a nominee for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the Barry Award. She lives in Chicago.

Thursday, September 20, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Courtney Kersten presents Daughter in Retrograde: A Memoir

When she isn’t eavesdropping on family gossip or gazing at taxidermy squirrels in smoky dives, Courtney Kersten charts the uncertainty of her Midwestern homeland by looking to the stars and planets in her debut memoir Daughter in Retrograde. As a teen, she had plunged deep into the worlds of signs, symbols, and prophecy. But now, as her mother—her traveling companion into these spheres—lies dying, Kersten must learn to navigate without the person who always lit the way. Their last journey together, to swim in a Wisconsin lake, is a bittersweet, darkly comic, poignant climax, the mark of a transformative memoir.

Courtney Kersten is the author of Daughter in Retrograde: A Memoir (University of Wisconsin Press 2018). Her essays can be seen or are forthcoming from Prairie Schooner, Brevity, The Normal School, River Teeth, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. She was the 2018 winner of the Annie Dillard Award for Nonfiction, a Fulbright Fellow to Riga, Latvia, and is currently a PhD student in Literature, Creative Writing, and Feminist Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Sunday, September 23, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Joshua Mattson presents A Short Film About Disappointment

In near-future America, film critic Noah Body uploads his reviews to a content aggregator. His job is routine: watch, seethe, pan. He dreams of making his own film, free from the hackery of commercial cinema. Faced with writing about lousy movies for a website that no one reads, Noah smuggles into his work episodes from his trainwreck of a life.

We learn that his apartment in Miniature Aleppo has been stripped of furniture after his wife ran off with his best friend—who Noah believes has possessed his body. He's in the middle of an escalating grudge match against a vending machine tycoon with a penchant for violence. And he's infatuated with a doctor who has diagnosed him with a "disease of thought." Sapped by days performing the labor of entertainment, forced to voice opinions on cinema to earn his water rations, Noah is determined to create his own masterpiece, directed by and starring himself.

Written by a debut novelist with a rotten wit and a singular imagination, A Short Film About Disappointment is a story about holding on to a scrap of hope in a joyously crummy world of nanny states and New Koreas.

Joshua Mattson is a novelist from Northern Minnesota. He works in the service industry and A Short Film About Disappointment is his debut. He lives in Los Angeles.

Monday, September 24, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Sold Out: Dessa launches My Own Devices (ticketed)

This is a ticketed event. Tickets retrievable via EventBrite. Doors will open at 6pm; seating/standing room will be first-come, first-served. Onscreen (mobile phone) tickets are acceptable. See ticket page for more information.

In her literary debut memoir, rapper and singer Dessa gives a candid account of her life in the van as a hard-touring musician, her determination to beat long odds to make a name for herself, and her struggle to fall out of love with someone in her band. Raw and intimate, Dessa demonstrates just how far the mind can travel while the body is on the six-hour ride to the next rap show.

Dessa defies category–she is an academic with an international rap career; a lyrical writer fascinated by behavioral science; and a funny, charismatic performer dogged by blue moods and a perseverant case of heartache. In “The Fool That Bets Against Me,” Dessa wonders if the romantic anguish that’s helped her write so many sad songs might be an insurable professional asset. To find out, she applies to Geico for coverage. “A Ringing in the Ears” tells the story of her father building an airplane in their backyard garage–a task that took him almost seven years. The essay titled “Congratulations” reflects on recording a song for The Hamilton Mixtape in a Minneapolis basement, straining for a high note and hoping for a break. The last piece in the collection, “Call off Your Ghost,” relays the fascinating project Dessa undertook with a team of neuroscientists that employed fMRI technology and neurofeedback to try to clinically excise her romantic feelings for an old flame.

Her onstage and backstage stories are offset by her varied fascinations–she studies sign language, algebra, neuroanatomy–and this collection is a prism of her intellectual life. Her writing is infused with fascinating bits of science and sociology, philosophical insights, and an abiding tenderness for the people she tours with and the people she leaves behind to do it.

Dessa finds unconventional approaches to all of her subjects–braiding her lived experience with academic research and a poet’s tone and timing. In the vein of thinkers who defy categorization, we get the debut of a deft, likable, and unusual voice.

Dessa is a rapper, singer, and essayist who earns her living on the road. She’s performed around the world at opera houses, rock clubs, and sometimes standing on barroom tables. Her imaginative writing and ferocious stage presence have been praised by NPR, Forbes, Billboard, the Chicago Tribune, and the LA Times. As a musician, she’s landed on the Billboard Top 200 as a solo artist; a member of the Doomtree collective; and as a contributor to The Hamilton Mixtape. She’s been published by the New York Times Magazine, MPR, the Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, literary journals across the country, and has written two short collections of poetry and essays. She splits her time between Manhattan, Minneapolis, and a tour van cruising at six miles per hour above the posted limit.

Tuesday, September 25, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Rebecca Clarren presents Kickdown

When Jackie Dunbar's father dies, she takes a leave from medical school and goes back to the family cattle ranch in Colorado to set affairs in order. But what she finds derails her: The Dunbar ranch is bankrupt, her sister is having a nervous breakdown, and the oil and gas industry has changed the landscape of this small western town both literally and figuratively, tempting her to sell a gas lease to save the family land. There is fencing to be repaired and calves to be born, and no one—except Jackie herself—to take control. But then a gas well explodes in the neighboring ranch, and the fallout sets off a chain of events that will strain trust, sever old relationships, and ignite new ones.

Rebecca Clarren's Kickdown, shortlisted for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, is a tautly written debut novel about two sisters and the Iraq war veteran who steps in to help. It is a timeless and timely meditation on the grief wrought by death, war, and environmental destruction. Kickdown, like Kent Haruf's Plainsong or Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone, weaves together the threads of land, family, failure, and perseverance to create a gritty tale about rural America.

Award-winning journalist Rebecca Clarren has been writing about the rural West for nearly twenty years. Her journalism, for which she has won the Hillman Prize, an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship, and nine grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, has appeared in such publications as Mother Jones, High Country News, The Nation, and Salon.com. She lives in Portland, Ore. with her husband and two young sons.

Wednesday, September 26, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Porter Fox presents Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America's Forgotten Border

America’s northern border is the world’s longest international boundary, yet it remains obscure even to Americans. The northern border was America’s primary border for centuries—much of the early history of the United States took place there—and to the tens of millions who live and work near the line, the region even has its own name: the northland.

Travel writer Porter Fox spent three years exploring 4,000 miles of the border between Maine and Washington, traveling by canoe, freighter, car, and foot. In Northland, he blends a deeply reported and beautifully written story of the region’s history with a riveting account of his travels. Setting out from the easternmost point in the mainland United States, Fox follows explorer Samuel de Champlain’s adventures across the Northeast; recounts the rise and fall of the timber, iron, and rail industries; crosses the Great Lakes on a freighter; tracks America’s fur traders through the Boundary Waters; and traces the forty-ninth parallel from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean.

Fox, who grew up the son of a boat-builder in Maine’s northland, packs his narrative with colorful characters (Captain Meriwether Lewis, railroad tycoon James J. Hill, Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota Sioux) and extraordinary landscapes (Glacier National Park, the Northwest Angle, Washington’s North Cascades). He weaves in his encounters with residents, border guards, Indian activists, and militia leaders to give a dynamic portrait of the northland today, wracked by climate change, water wars, oil booms, and border security.

Porter Fox is the editor of literary travel writing journal, Nowhere, and the author of Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow (2013). His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, and The Best American Travel Writing. Raised in Maine, he lives in New York.

Thursday, September 27, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Julie Schumacher presents The Shakespeare Requirement

Now is the fall of his discontent, as Jason Fitger, newly appointed chair of the English Department of Payne University, takes arms against a sea of troubles, personal and institutional. His ex-wife is sleeping with the dean who must approve whatever modest initiatives he undertakes. The fearsome department secretary Fran clearly runs the show (when not taking in rescue parrots and dogs) and holds plenty of secrets she's not sharing. The lavishly funded Econ Department keeps siphoning off English's meager resources and has taken aim at its remaining office space. And Fitger's attempt to get a mossbacked and antediluvian Shakespeare scholar to retire backfires spectacularly when the press concludes that the Bard is being kicked to the curricular curb.

Lord, what fools these mortals be! Julie Schumacher proves the point and makes the most of it in this delicious romp.

Julie Schumacher grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University, where she earned her MFA. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was published by Soho Press in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her 2014 novel, Dear Committee Members, won the Thurber Prize for American Humor; she is the first woman to have been so honored. She lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.

Sunday, September 30, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota. This reading series is free and open to the public.

Monday, October 1, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Quinton Skinner presents Amnesia Nights

John Wright’s mind is playing tricks on him. He sees people he thinks he knows, but they are only strangers. His memory flickers in and out of focus. He has not seen his fiancée, Iris, in over three years. He fled their Los Angeles apartment one night after a fit of rage that may or may not have left her dead. He has been living off a small fortune he stole from Iris's rich, manipulative businessman father. He bides his time and waits for the police to find him and charge him with his lover's murder. Has he killed her? Is she really dead?

Quinton Skinner is the author of the novels Amnesia Nights, 14 Degrees Below Zero, and Odd One Out. He has worked as a writer and editor for many publications on the Twin Cities and nationally. He is currently the co-principal of Logosphere Storysmiths.

Tuesday, October 2, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Jan Linn presents Evangelicalism and the Decline of American Politics

Beginning in the 1970s, evangelical Christians decided to become involved in our nation's political life by becoming Republican partisans. Today they are widely considered the Republican Party's most reliable constituency. In the process American politics has become more bitter, chaotic, divisive, and now dysfunctional.

There is a significant bipartisan consensus that the Republican Party bears the most responsibility for the state of our nation's politics. This is not an endorsement of Democratic policies, only an assessment of why our government no longer gets anything done. What is often ignored, though, is the role evangelicals are playing in what is happening.

This book connects the dots between evangelical theology and evangelical politics. The key factor in both is their "no compromise" attitude that sees negotiations as a betrayal of moral principles, confident as they are that they are doing God's work here on earth. The result, as this book shows, is bad politics and bad religion, both of which are out of step with the views of most Americans. It concludes with suggestions for what the nation and evangelicals themselves can do to open the door to our government being able to function again, and to the nation healing some of its divisions.

Jan G. Linn has served as chaplain and a member of the teaching faculty at Lynchburg College in Virginia, and was Professor of the Practice of Ministry at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky before giving up tenure to become co-pastor with his wife of a new church start in Minnesota. After fourteen years he retired to write full-time. He is the author of fifteen books, and has a widely read blog, Thinking Against The Grain

Wednesday, October 3, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Michael Fedo presents Don't Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author

In this engaging and instructive memoir, author Michael Fedo  shares wisdom gained from his fifty-year career as a journalist, novelist, and teacher.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author is a memoir recounting the five- decade writing career of Michael Fedo, whose books have not attained bestseller status, despite receiving mostly favorable reviews in publications such as the New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and Library Journal, among others. Rather than complaining, however, the author points out that while few authors earn a middle- class income from writing, aspiring writers can carve out a satisfying niche through diligence. This book should engage general readers curious about the literary life of a workaday writer, as well as aspiring authors.

Michael Fedo has published hundreds of articles and essays in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, McCall’s, Runners’ World, America, and elsewhere. His short stories have appeared in Gray’s Sporting Journal, American Way, America West Airlines Magazine, North American Review, December, and in many other literary quarterlies. He is a former book reviewer for the Star Tribune, and for ten years taught writing at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. His essays have been broadcast on Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Florida Public Radio. Don't Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author is his tenth book.

Thursday, October 4, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Lisa Freitag presents Extreme Caregiving: The Moral Work of Raising Children with Special Needs

Parents who care for children with special needs, particularly those whose children have multiple disabilities or intellectual delays, are pioneers in home health care and caregiving, yet their experience and expertise are rarely recognized. This book collects parent narratives, personal experience, and academic research to portray the lives of parent caregivers, looking at both the trials and the triumphs inherent in raising a child with special needs.

Parents raising children with special needs often must devote all of their resources, both tangible and spiritual, to providing care long into their children’s lives. This book examines all of the facets of their parenting role, from the care they provide to the challenges they face, and questions many assumptions. It presents parents as neither emotional wrecks nor overburdened saints, but as moral individuals struggling to find their own way through relatively unexplored territory.

Lisa Freitag practiced pediatrics in Minnesota for almost 25 years before returning to school for a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. Her interest in caring for children with special needs grew out of meeting parents while in practice as well as growing up with a brother with intellectual disabilities.

Sunday, October 7, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

An Evening of Poetry: Tracy Youngblom (One Bird a Day) and Elizabeth Weir (High on Table Mountain)

Join us for an evening with two Minnesota poets.

About One Bird a Day:

The project of Tracy Youngblom's third book is to observe--to watch the world just outside the window in all its complexity and record what she sees. These poems paint delicate backyard scenes of birds throughout the seasons and muse on life and death and meaning.

Tracy Youngblom holds an M.A. in English from the University of St. Thomas and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Warren Wilson College's low-residency program. One Bird a Day is her third collection of poems, following Driving to Heaven (2010) and Growing Big (2013).  Her books have been reviewed in The Georgia Review, Midwest Book Review, and Verse Wisconsin. In addition to two Pushcart nominations, her work has been selected for publication in many journals. Poems, stories, and essays have been published in Shenandoah, Wallace Stevens Journal, New York Quarterly, Big Muddy, Cortland Review, Cumberland River Review, DMQ, QU Literary magazine, Briar Cliff Review, St. Katherine's Review, Minnesota Monthly, and other places.  She teaches English full-time at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.

About High on Table Mountain:

High on Table Mountain is a 60-poem collection of accessible poetry that traces the arc of a life, with themes of immigration, family, loss, humor, conflict, joy and the natural world.

Elizabeth Weir grew up in England and lives in Minnesota. Her book of poetry, High on Table Mountain, is published by North Star Press of St. Cloud and was nominated for the 2017 Midwest Book Awards. She has received four SASA/Jerome Awards and her work has been published in many journals, including Water~Stone Review, Comstock Review, The Kerf and Milkweed Editions.

Tuesday, October 9, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Sarah Stonich presents Laurentian Divide

Bitter winters are nothing new in Hatchet Inlet, hard up against the ridge of the Laurentian Divide, but the advent of spring can’t thaw the community’s collective grief, lingering since a senseless tragedy the previous fall. What is different this year is what’s missing: Rauri Paar, the last private landowner in the Reserve, whose annual emergence from his remote iced-in islands marks the beginning of spring and the promise of a kinder season.

In the second volume of her Northern Trilogy, Sarah Stonich reassembles characters that endeared Vacationland to so many readers: retired union miner and widower Alpo Lahti is about to wed his charming and lively bride, Sissy Pavola, but, with Rauri unaccounted for, celebration seems premature. Alpo’s son Pete struggles to find his straight and narrow, then struggles to stay on it, and even Sissy might be having second thoughts.

Weaving in and out of each other’s reach, trying hard to do their best (all the while wondering what that might be), Stonich’s characters in all their sweetness and sorrow remind us once more of the inescapable lurches of the heart and unexpected turns of our human comedy.

Sarah Stonich is the best-selling author of These Granite Islands (Minnesota, 2013), which has been translated into seven languages and shortlisted for France’s Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle; the critically acclaimed novel The Ice Chorus; and a memoir, Shelter: Off the Grid in the Mostly Magnetic North (Minnesota, 2017). Her novel-in-stories, Vacationland (Minnesota, 2013), is the first volume in her Northern Trilogy, followed by Laurentian Divide. She has written the novels Fishing with RayAnne and Reeling under the pen name Ava Finch. The founder of WordStalkers.com, she lives on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, October 10, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Gordon Marino presents The Existentialist's Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age, in conversation with Steve Marsh

Soren Kierkegaard, Frederick Nietzsche, Jean Paul Sartre and other towering figures of existentialism grasped that human beings are, at heart, moody creatures, susceptible to an array of psychological setbacks, crises of faith, flights of fancy, and other emotional ups-and-downs. Rather than understanding moods—good and bad alike—as afflictions to be treated with pharmaceuticals, this swashbuckling group of thinkers generally known as existentialists believed that such feelings not only offer enduring lessons about living a life of integrity but also help us discern an inner spark that can inspire spiritual development and personal transformation. To listen to Kierkegaard and company, how we grapple with these feelings shapes who we are, how we act, and, ultimately, the kind of lives we lead. 

In The Existentialist's Survival Guide, Gordon Marino, director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, recasts the practical take-aways existentialism offers for the 21st century. Mixed with powerful personal stories, Marino provides a useful primer on existentialism and masterfully distills the insights the existentialists articulate for becoming more emotionally attuned human beings. From negotiating angst, depression, despair, and death to practicing faith, morality, and love, Marino dispenses wisdom on how to face existence head on while keeping our hearts intact, especially when the universe feels like it’s working against you and nothing seems to matter.

What emerges are life-altering and, in some cases, life-saving epiphanies—existential prescriptions for living with integrity, courage, and authenticity in an increasingly chaotic, uncertain, and inauthentic age.

Gordon Marino is a professor of philosophy and Director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College. He is the author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age, and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard, editor of Basic Writings of Existentialism, Ethics: The Essential Writings and The Quotable Kierkegaard. A veteran boxing trainer, Gordon is also an award-winning boxing writer for Wall Street Journal, HBO, and many other outlets.  His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and many other domestic and international publications. He lives in Northfield, Minnesota.

Steve Marsh is a writer interested in culture, extreme experience and performance. He's profiled athletes, artists and leaders in thought and business on their own turf whether that's Detroit, Berlin or Rio de Janeiro. He’s the senior writer at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and he’s contributed to GQ, Grantland, Vulture, Pitchfork, and The Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, October 11, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Ransom Riggs presents A Map of Days: The Fourth Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and his peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few rules—that none of them understand. All new wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant new chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again fully illustrated by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking transformation for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color.

Published to wide acclaim in 2011, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, where it spent more than 100 weeks. The series has sold over 10 million copies and been translated into over 40 languages.

Ransom Riggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children novels and its companion, Tales of the Peculiar. Riggs was born on a farm in Maryland and grew up in southern Florida. He studied literature at Kenyon College and film at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi, and their family.

Sunday, October 14, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

An Afternoon of Folklore with Jack Zipes (The Book of One Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria and Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump)

Join us for a fairy-tale talk with author Jack Zipes, here to discuss his two most recent books.

About The Book of One Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria:

Charles Godfrey Leland was one of the most popular American writers and artists of the nineteenth century, publishing more than twenty books of legends, fairy tales, humor, and essays. Today, however, he is a woefully underappreciated writer. Written, designed, and illustrated by Leland in 1892, The Book of One Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria is a forgotten classic and a small sample of his influential and experimental work.

In this story, Bellaria engages in a duel of wits with an evil king, a death match of one hundred riddles. Each riddle is spoken as a rhyme and illustrated by an original engraving in the arts and crafts style. This book is a beautiful reintroduction to Leland and his pioneering design.

About Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump: A Russian Folktale:

“Many years ago in the great empire of Russia where wicked winds and cruel storms tormented the lives of poor peasants . . .” So begins the magical story of a simple peasant boy who defeats a cruel tsar with the help of his loyal pony. Written by the Russian poet Pyotr Yershov and first published in 1834, the tale became such a favorite and was so often repeated that it soon joined the oral tradition of Russian folklore that had been Yershov’s inspiration.

In Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump, Jack Zipes, doyen of folklorists, adapts this classic tale, capturing the full charm and exoticism of the original. Rendered in the style and idiom of traditional Russian folk tales, the story speaks with the voice of the underdog, slyly satirizing the hypocrisy of the Russian bureaucracy and ruling classes—a taunt to tyranny that transcends time.

With pertinent historical and biographical commentary from Zipes, along with thirty striking illustrations by Russian artists that were originally featured on postcards, this timeless tale—written for adults and celebrated as a children’s classic—is now a visual and literary delight for all generations of readers.

Jack Zipes is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. He is author of more than forty books, including Tales of Wonder: Retelling Fairy Tales through Picture Postcards and Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump, both from Minnesota.

Monday, October 15, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Debra Rader presents Teaching and Learning for Intercultural Understanding: Engaging Young Hearts and Minds

We are living in extraordinary times and it could not be more imperative to develop the disposition and competence of intercultural understanding in ourselves, each other, and in the children we teach. This book is a comprehensive resource for educators from Early Childhood through Grade 5 and provides teachers with a complete framework for developing intercultural understanding in children. It is unique in that it bridges theory and practice, and applies research in the field of intercultural competence to our work with children. Debra includes detailed, inquiry-based lesson plans based on quality children’s literature and demonstrates how intercultural understanding can be easily integrated into the existing curriculum in any school.

This work is relevant not only for educators, but for everyone who cares deeply about the lives of children and creating a more compassionate, peaceful and inclusive world.

Debra Rader is an international educator who has worked in national and international schools as a teacher, principal and educational consultant for over 30 years. She has taught primary and middle school children in the United States and the UK, was Primary and Middle School Principal at Southbank International School in London, Junior School Principal at the International School of Florence, and the Founding Director of Teaching and Learning of the Bilingual School of Lucca. Debra works with children, parents and teachers to develop intercultural understanding and international-mindedness in schools.

Debra is also co-author of New Kid in School: Using Literature to Help Children in Transition (Teachers College Press, Rader and Sittig 2003). She lives in Lucca, Italy.

Tuesday, October 16, 7:00pm The Parkway Theater

The Gates: An Evening of Stories With Adam Gopnik (co-presentation with the Parkway Theater)

Come to the newly re-opened Parkway Theater for an evening with bestselling author and beloved New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik. Tickets are now available for purchase via the Parkway's website.

With his signature wit and keen observational eye for the manners of everyday life, Adam Gopnik chronicles his early days in the tumultuous decade of the 1980s–where a life begun in the smallest apartment in Manhattan opened the gate to professional misadventures in the worlds of high fashion, art and public speaking. 

Jumping forward twenty years, Gopnik also tells the story of raising two children in the utterly different New York of the aughts and builds a moving portrait where imaginary friends, misunderstood texts and even steam bath sexuality all manage to confound and shape his understanding.

Book signing to follow, sponsored by Magers and Quinn.

Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. His books include the essay collections At the Strangers’ Gate, Paris to the Moon, Through the Children’s Gate, and Winter: Five Windows on the Season; the children’s novels The King in the Window and The Steps Across the Water; and a book about cooking and eating, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food. He has received three National Magazine Awards and the George Polk Award for magazine writing.

Catherine Burns (director) is the long time artistic director of The Moth, the editor of the best-selling collections The Moth: 50 True Stories and All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown, and a producer and frequent host of the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour. In 2013, she directed the solo show Helen & Edgar, starring Edgar Oliver and produced by The Moth’s Founder George Dawes Green at the Under the Radar festival at The Public Theater.

Wednesday, October 17, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

James Anderson presents Lullaby Road

Winter has come to Route 117, a remote road through the high desert of Utah trafficked only by those looking to escape the world and those the world has rejected. Local truck driver Jones, still in mourning over the devastating murder of his lover Claire, is trying to get through another season of his job navigating treacherous roads and sudden snowfall without accident when a mute Hispanic child is placed in Jones’s path at a seedy truck stop along his route bearing a note that simply reads “Please, Ben. Bad trouble. My son. Take him today. His name is Juan. Trust you only. Tell no one. Pedro.”  From that moment forward, nothing will ever be the same. Not for Ben. Not for the child. And not for anyone along the seemingly empty stretch of road known as Route 117.

Despite deep misgivings, and without any hint of who the child is or the grave danger he’s facing, Jones takes the child with him and sets out into a landscape that is as dangerous as it is beautiful and silent. With the help of his eccentric neighbors—Phyllis, who turned up one day in her Rolls-Royce with two children in tow and the FBI on her tail; Andy, a Utah State Trooper who is on or off duty depending on if his hat is on or off his head; and Roy, an ex–coal miner who has lived in Rockmuse, off Highway 117, his whole life and survives on odd jobs and the kindness of his neighbors—Jones uncovers buried secrets of the desert that are far more painful than he could have imagined.

James Anderson was born in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Reed College and received his MFA in creative writing from Pine Manor College. His short fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines.  He currently divides his time between Colorado and Oregon. For more information please visit www.jamesandersonauthor.com.

Thursday, October 18, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Dan Hill presents Famous Faces Decoded: A Guidebook for Reading Others

Unless you’ve never been lied to in life, you know that words aren’t enough in assessing people and situations. Vital to emotional intelligence is fluently reading the language of facial expressions. Famous Faces Decoded reveals how emotions shape and reflect our personalities, driving behavior. This book is full of lively stories about stars you know, or think you know, from the realms of Hollywood, music, sports, and the media, to leading politicians and business people from The Silent Generation to Millennials.

In this unique mini-workshop / reading event, Dan will help guests get oriented to facial coding (reading expressions for emotions expressed) using large, mounted heads as examples. Guests are also invited to bring to the event photographs from either current events or personal moments like weddings, family reunions, etc. Readings from the book will highlight a range of personalities, with Q & A to follow.

Dan Hill, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on the role of emotions in business, politics, sorts, and popular culture. His-wide ranging media coverage and appearances have included: front-page coverage in The New York Times, plus ABC’s Good Morning, America, NBC’s The Today Show, and CNN. Dan lives in St. Paul, and received his doctorate in English literature at Rutgers University following studies at Brown University, Oxford University and St. Olaf College. Dan’s blog Faces of the Week covers the emotional dynamics at play in today’s headlines.

Saturday, October 20, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Be a Book Hero! Repair Your Books - How To and When Not To!, with Sophia S. W. Bogle

Bring your tired, your worn, your broken books. Master book restorationist Sophia will show you the way! Using everyday tools and just a few archival materials, you can treat many book problems: broken book bindings, bent corners, pages falling out, red rot and more. Learn simple, archival methods of book repair to retain the value of your books... and discover when, in order to retain the value of your book, no repairs should be done at all.

Free consultations and actual repairs demonstrated on your books. Get there early to put your book in the queue!

Sophia S.W. Bogle is a master book restorationist, and proprietress of Save Your Books, a business committed to bringing simple, archival, book repair resources to every bibliophile. Sophia has a diploma in book conservation from the American Academy of Bookbinding and over 25 years of experience restoring books with a focus on preserving their value. Sophia lives in Ashland, Oregon and is currently the events co-chair for the Northwest Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. Sophia’s book Book Restoration Unveiled is due to come out in April of 2019. www.saveyourbooks.com

Sunday, October 21, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Kathleen Novak presents The Autobiography of Corrine Bernard

The elusive lover of Do Not Find Me returns to tell her side of the story in The Autobiography of Corrine Bernard. From her hapless childhood under Nazi occupation in Paris to her life as a woman of letters in present-day New York City, Corrine remains scrappy and wise. When she is seventeen, she travels to America to visit her godmother and meets Charles Bernard, whose wealth and ruthlessness alter the entire course of her life.

In a bold and mesmerizing voice, Corrine details her intense pull towards Charles, her lifelong attraction to the blue-eyed Italian named Gigi Paulo, and her observations of Paris, New York, St. Johns and London, as she roams in exile for decades of her life. Dear Reader, she begins, I have my tales to tell. And so she does in this dark and compelling novel.

Kathleen Novak is a poet and writer who grew up on the iron mining range of northern Minnesota, and is the granddaughter of Italian and Croatian immigrants. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, she is the author of the highly praised novels Rare Birds, released in 2017, and Do Not Find Me, which was a finalist for the 2016 Minnesota Book Award.

Sunday, October 21, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota. This reading series is free and open to the public.

Monday, October 22, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Brooke Barker presents Sad Animal Babies

Baby animals don’t play with toys. They don’t have favorite colors. And they don’t learn songs unless it's for self-defense. In this beautifully illustrated compendium of sweet and sad facts, Brooke Barker takes us into the world of baby animals and shows us just how complicated and adorable their fight for survival can be, from the moose who try to mate with cars, to the single parrots who talk to blenders and the newborn elephants who can’t control their trunks. If you already think you’d like to hug a baby animal Sad Animal Babies will make you realize just how much they need it.

Brooke Barker is a writer and illustrator who grew up outside of Minneapolis. Her first book, Sad Animal Babies, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-seller, and has been published in countless languages if you can't count higher than seven. Her work has been published in The Guardian, Lenny Letter and The New York Times. She currently lives in Amsterdam.

Tuesday, October 23, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mike Corrao launches Man, Oh, Man, with Daniel Abbott and The Concrete, in conversation with Andrew Wilt (Age of Agility)

Come enjoy an evening with two debut novelists.

About Man, Oh, Man:

Two patrons appear in a dim cafe one day. How they've arrived, where they've come from, and why they're there at all, they have no idea. What they do know is that they hate one another.

So they smoke. They tinker. They talk about art. They talk about waiting. They talk about talking. They talk about talking about talking. They talk about the strange messages coming through the radio. They talk about the even stranger guests who arrive, only to disappear a moment later. And as they fall deeper and deeper into this hysteria, what's uncovered might just make these two unlikely protagonists the most human of us all.

Mike Corrao has with Man, Oh, Man masterly crafted a humorous yet insightful experiment that'll have you questioning how you've always approached novels.

Mike Corrao is a young writer and filmmaker working out of Minneapolis, where he earned his B.A. in film and English literature at the University of Minnesota. In 2016 he was an artist-in-residence for the Altered Esthetics Film Festival. His work has appeared in over 20 different publications, including Entropy, decomP, Cleaver, and the Portland Review.

Man, Oh, Man is his first novel.

About The Concrete:

Set in an impoverished area of Grand Rapids, Michigan, The Concrete follows the Carters and their foster sons, Isaac and Miles. The two boys share a dark past, though neither of them are aware of it..

As the boys try to escape the grim reality of the violent streets--in different ways--Isaac through basketball, Miles through music--the novel shifts back and forth in time, in the process revealing the story of an entangled community plagued by trauma and death, trying to confront the ghosts of its past, and seize a better life.

Daniel Abbott is a novelist and short story writer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned a BA in Writing from Grand Valley State University and an MFA in Fiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Daniel's writing has appeared in Lit Hub, The Noctua Review, Ginosko Literary Journal, and The Owen Wister Review.

Wednesday, October 24, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Meghan O'Gieblyn presents Interior States, in conversation with Chris Stedman

What does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts?

The critic and essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her “existential dizziness, a sense that the rest of the world is moving while you remain still,” and that rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the fifteen superbly thoughtful and ironic essays in this collection. The subjects of these essays range from the rebranding (as it were) of Hell in contemporary Christian culture, a theme park devoted to the concept of intelligent design, the paradoxes of Christian Rock, Henry Ford’s reconstructed pioneer town of Greenfield Village and its mixed messages, and the strange convergences of Christian eschatology and the digital so-called Singularity.

Meghan O’Gieblyn stands in relation to her native Midwest as Joan Didion stands in relation to California – which is to say a whole-hearted lover, albeit one riven with ambivalence at the same time.

Meghan O'Gieblyn is a writer who was raised and still lives in the Midwest. Her essays have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, n+1,The Point, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Best American Essays 2017, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She received a B.A. in English from Loyola University, Chicago and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Interior States is her debut collection of essays. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband.

Chris Stedman is the author of Faitheist, "an intimate and deeply affecting portrait… [that] proves [he is] an activist in the truest sense and one to watch" (Booklist, Starred Review). His writing has appeared in outlets including Pitchfork, BuzzFeed Reader, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, VICE, CNN, MSNBC, The Rumpus, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. After serving as a Humanist chaplain at Harvard University and director of the Yale Humanist Community, he now lives in Minneapolis, where he is a writer, speaker, fellow at Augsburg University, and founding executive director of the Humanist Center of Minnesota. He is working on his second book and writes a monthly column exploring what it means to be "real" in the digital age for INTO.

Sunday, October 28, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

New Somali Fiction: Ahmed Ismail Yusuf (The Lion's Binding Oath) in conversation with Fartumo Kusow (Tale of a Boon's Wife), moderated by Cawo Abdi (Elusive Jannah: The Somali Disapora and a Borderless Muslim Identity)

Join us for a conversation between two Somali fiction writers working in English, moderated by the University of Minnesota's Professor Cawo Abdi.

About The Lion's Binding Oath::

Religious and ethnic conflict may be the Horn of Africa’s most enduring recent legacy. But beneath its recent history of war and displacement lies human stories—families, clans, lovers, neighbors, and friends, all bound together through common cultural, religious, and historical ties.

The Lion’s Binding Oath, Ahmed Ismail Yusuf’s collection of short stories, introduces readers to the people of Somalia and their struggles: their humanity, faith, identity, friendship, and family bonds, as whispers of war grow louder around them. Through stories that span the years before and during Somalia’s civil war, Yusuf weaves together Somalia’s political, social, and religious conflicts with portrayals of the country’s love of poetry, music, and soccer. Yusuf’s collection is a powerful examination of love and resilience in a country torn apart by war, and written with deep compassion for the lives of its characters.

After fleeing Somalia, Ahmed Ismail Yusuf lived in several states but has lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1997. He did not speak English when he arrived, he was a high-school dropout, and he was not sure what his actual age was. Today he has two college degrees and is the author of Somalis in Minnesota, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, and Gorgorkii Yimi, a collection of stories in Somali, published by Ponte Invisible.  In February 2018, The History Theatre of St. Paul produced his play A Crack in the Sky, a memoir about how Yusuf found inspiration in Maya Angelou and Malcolm X during his early days as an immigrant to the U.S.

About Tale of a Boon's Wife:

In her debut English language novel, Windsor author Fartumo Kusow imagines a young Somali woman who defies convention and clan.

Idil has grown up as the adored daughter in a privileged family. She worships her father, a high-ranking official in the Somali army, and all that he represents. But as she matures and watches her parents’ marriage unravel, her father’s image tarnishes.

Always curious and questioning, Idil begins to rebel and becomes a threat and an affront to her family’s social standing. When she falls in love with gentle Sidow from the lower-class Boon tribe, their love is not only taboo, it may be doomed.

Idil is ready to give up her family and social status to be with the man she loves. But she cannot guess how terrifying the repercussions will be. As the country stumbles towards civil war, Idil’s actions set off a war within the family that will affect her as deeply as the politics around her.

Born in Somalia, Fartumo Kusow immigrated to Canada at the start of the civil war. Her first novel, Amran, was serialized in October Star, Mogadishu: Somali National Press in 1984. Since her arrival in Canada in 1991 she has earned a B. Arts Honours in English Language and Literature and B. Education from the University of Windsor. She now teaches English literature courses for the Greater Essex County District School Board. A mother of five adult children, she lives in Windsor, Ontario.

Cawo (Awa) Abdi is author of "Elusive Jannah: The Somali Diaspora and a Borderless Muslim Identity." Abdi is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota and a research associate in sociology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Monday, October 29, 7:00pm The Parkway Theater

Grace Bonney presents Good Company: The Fearless Issue (#2), with special guests (co-presentation with the Parkway Theater)

Come be a part of the first season of a new podcast as Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge and the New York Times bestselling author of In Good Company, leads an inspiring and lively conversation on how creatives from every community tackle the tough questions, the difficult decisions, the naysayers and natural disasters to find their way to success.

Bonney will be joined by special guests onstage. A copy of Good Company: The Fearless Issue is included in the ticket price.

Stay tuned for further event and ticket information.

Grace Bonney is the author of the New York Times bestselling book In the Company of Women and of the popular Design*Sponge at Home. Founder of Design*Sponge, a daily website currently reaching nearly 2 million readers per day, she also runs an annual scholarship for up-and-coming designers, writes a free business column for creatives, and is the host of two podcasts:  After the Jump and the just-launched Good Company. Bonney lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her wife and their three pets.

Tuesday, October 30, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Jim Guhl presents Eleven Miles to Oshkosh

As the Vietnam War grinds on and the Nixon presidency collapses, Del "Minnow" Finwick's small world in Wisconsin has blown apart. His father, a deputy sheriff, has been murdered by the unknown "Highway 41 Killer." His mom has unraveled. And a goon named Larry Buskin has been pummeling Minnow behind Neenah High. Minnow finds support in the company of his roguish grandfather, his loyal pal Mark, and beautiful Opal Parsons, who has her own worries as the first African American student in their school. When the sheriff seems in no hurry to solve the murder, Minnow must seek justice by partnering with unlikely allies and discovering his own courage.

As a writer of regional fiction, Jim Guhl has relied heavily on his Wisconsin and Minnesota roots, a strategy that has paid off handsomely. He is a two-time recipient of the Jade Ring Prize for Short Story Fiction from the Wisconsin Writers Association and a finalist in the St. Croix Noir Writing Challenge. His debut novel, Eleven Miles to Oshkosh (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018) takes his Midwestern theme to the next level. Guhl resides in Hudson, Wisconsin after retiring from a career in engineering.

Sunday, November 4, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Saymoukda presents When Everything Was Everything, with illustrations by Cori Nakamura Lin

In the tumultuous years during and after the Vietnam War, thousands of ethnic Lao fled Southeast Asia to avoid persecution, imprisonment and even death. Many of these refugees eventually settled in the Upper Midwest, in and around Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Decades later, the older generation of Lao Americans continues to navigate the trauma of the region-wide conflict that ripped them from their homeland thousands of miles away. Their wounds have yet to scab.

Meanwhile, every generation of Lao still grapples with misrepresentation – or no representation at all – in popular and historical narratives, school curriculums, community conversations, and the arts. As a trans-generational narrative, When Everything Was Everything signifies a turning point for Lao American refugee stories.

Artfully stitched together from the author’s own imaginings, reimaginings and memories as a child raised on food stamps and forced into ESL classes while continuously being shuttled from one public housing address to the next, this remarkable picture book is a love letter to survivors that is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a poet, playwright, and cultural producer. Her work has been presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Theater Mu, and Lazy Hmong Woman Productions. She's received fellowships from the Loft Literary Center and Playwrights Center; and creative grants from Jerome Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Bush Foundation, to name a few. Keep up with her @refugenius.

Cori Nakamura Lin is a Japanese/Taiwanese-American illustrator and graphic designer based in Minneapolis & Chicago. Through art she amplifies stories from underrepresented people and cultures. When Everything Was Everything is her first book.

Tuesday, November 6, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Election Day: Austin Smith presents Flyover Country

Flyover Country is a powerful collection of poems about violence: the violence we do to the land, to animals, to refugees, to the people of distant countries, and to one another. Drawing on memories of his childhood on a dairy farm in Illinois, Austin Smith explores the beauty and cruelty of rural life, challenging the idea that the American Midwest is mere “flyover country,” a place that deserves passing over. At the same time, the collection suggests that America itself has become a flyover country, carrying out drone strikes and surveillance abroad, locked in a state of perpetual war that Americans seem helpless to stop.

In these poems, midwestern barns and farmhouses are linked to other lands and times as if by psychic tunnels. A poem about a barn cat moving her kittens in the night because they have been discovered by a group of boys resonates with a poem about the house in Amsterdam where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis. A poem beginning with a boy on a farmhouse porch idly swatting flies ends with the image of people fleeing before a drone strike. A poem about a barbwire fence suggests, if only metaphorically, the debate over immigration and borders. Though at times a dark book, the collection closes with a poem titled “The Light at the End,” suggesting the possibility of redemption and forgiveness.

Building on Smith’s reputation as an accessible and inventive poet with deep insights about rural America, Flyover Country also draws profound connections between the Midwest and the wider world.

Austin Smith grew up on a family dairy farm in northwestern Illinois. He is the author of two poetry collections, Almanac and Flyover Country (both published through the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets). His work has appeared in New Yorker, Poetry, Harper’s, Ploughshares, and many other publications. He teaches at Stanford but currently lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse in Jo Daviess, County in northwestern Illinois, where he writes and gardens.

Wednesday, November 7, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Erin Gibson presents Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death

Since women earned the right to vote a little under one hundred years ago, our progress hasn't been the Olympic sprint toward gender equality first-wave feminists hoped for, but more of a slow, elderly mall walk (with frequent stops at Cinnabon) over the four hundred million hurdles we still face. Some of these obstacles are obvious — unequal pay, under-representation in government, reproductive restrictions, lack of floor-length mirrors in hotel rooms. But a lot of them are harder to identify. They’re the white noise of oppression that we’ve accepted as lady business as usual, and the patriarchy wants to keep it that way.

Erin Gibson has a singular goal - to create a utopian future where women are recognized as humans. In Feminasty—titled after her nickname on the hit podcast "Throwing Shade”—she has written a collection of make-you-laugh-until-you-cry essays that expose the hidden rules that make life as a woman unnecessarily hard and deconstructs them in a way that's bold, provocative and hilarious. Whether it's shaming women for having their periods, allowing them into STEM fields but never treating them like they truly belong, or dictating strict rules for how they should dress in every situation, Erin breaks down the organized chaos of old-fashioned sexism, intentional and otherwise, that systemically keeps women down.

Feminasty is Erin Gibson’s revolutionary handbook for dismantling the patriarchy, one pay gap joke at a time.

Emmy-nominated Southern loudmouth Erin Gibson is an expert at mixing social commentary, political satire, and vagina jokes into neat little comedy packages. Based in Los Angeles, she's one half of the Throwing Shade empire, which includes an award winning political absurdist comedy podcast, international live touring show, the Funny or Die web series and a TV Land late night show. She also created the long running Emmy-nominated "Gay of Thrones" starring her real-life hair stylist, Jonathan Van Ness. Feminasty is her debut book of comedic essays.

Thursday, November 8, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Bonnie J. Rough presents Beyond Birds & Bees: Bringing Home A New Message to Our Kids About Sex, Love, and Equality, in conversation with Kate Hopper (Use Your Words)

Now that the #MeToo moment has highlighted the pervasive nature of sexism and harassment in American life, having “the talk” with kids about sex and gender equality takes on an added layer of urgency for parents. How can we do a better job imparting healthy, shame-free and egalitarian attitudes about bodies, sex, gender, and love? Author Bonnie J. Rough has two surprising answers, backed by rigorous research: First, learning healthy sexuality begins at birth. Second: We have lots to learn from the Dutch.

After living in Holland for eighteen months with a young daughter and then returning to the U.S., Rough began to suspect that the Dutch knew something she didn’t about how to raise happy, healthy children who were comfortable with their own bodies and with each other. Years of research, lots of life experience, and interviews with dozens of experts in both countries have culminated in her new book, Beyond Birds & Bees: Bringing Home A New Message to Our Kids About Sex, Love, and Equality.

Compared with the U.S., Holland boasts lower rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections—and much higher gender equality. While Dutch and American teenagers begin having sex at roughly the same age, Dutch teens report more positive experiences and fewer partners. Dutch adults report greater respect and cooperation among genders, as compared with American survey results. Why?

Rough finds that the carefree Dutch attitude toward nudity—children running naked in public parks and swimmers using unisex locker rooms at public pools—sheds light on how Americans automatically sexualize nude bodies. She learns how the Dutch explain sex to their children in ways that are neither embarrassing nor erotic, and why such conversations challenge American ideas about childhood “innocence.” And she confronts one of the greatest worries of American parents—teenage sex—with the Dutch perspective that embracing adolescent relationships gives parents the opportunity to advise and support their teenagers as they contemplate their first sexual experiences. With lots of personal anecdotes and a “been there, survived that” tone, Beyond Birds and Bees presents a new model for addressing issues as commonplace as children “playing doctor” and as complex as social norms surrounding how boys and girls should dress, think, and interact.

Bonnie J. Rough is the author of The Girls, Alone, and Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA. An award-winning essayist and memoirist with an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa, her essays have appeared in numerous publications. Rough lives with her husband and two daughters in Seattle and makes frequent trips back to their former home in the Netherlands.

Kate Hopper is the author of Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers and Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood, and she’s 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, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times online, Poets & Writers, and River Teeth. Kate has her MFA from the University of Minnesota and has been the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant, and a Fulbright Scholarship. Kate is the founder of Motherhood & Words and teaches in Ashland University’s Low-residency MFA program, online, and at ModernWell and the Loft Literary Center. She also leads retreats for women writers in the Midwest. She lives in Minneapolis with her family. www.katehopper.com.

Wednesday, November 14, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Allen Eskens presents The Shadows We Hide

Purchase the book (available November 13, 2018)

Joe Talbert, Jr. has never once met his namesake. Now out of college, a cub reporter for the Associated Press in Minneapolis, he stumbles across a story describing the murder of a man named Joseph Talbert in a small town in southern Minnesota. Full of childhood dreams about who his father might have been, Joe is shocked to find that none of the town's residents have much to say about his father's murder-other than that it was long overdue. Joe discovers that his father was a loathsome man who cheated his neighbors, threatened his daughter, and squandered his wife's inheritance after she, too, passed away--an inheritance that may now be his.

Mired in uncertainty and plagued by his own tenuous relationship with his mother, whose sobriety has led her to seek reconciliation with her distant son, Joe must put together the missing pieces of his family history-- before his quest for discovery threatens to put him in a grave of his own.

Allen Eskens is the USA Today bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, and The Deep Dark Descending. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, the Rosebud Award, and the Silver Falchion Award, and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Thriller Award, the Anthony Award, and the Minnesota Book Award. His debut novel, The Life We Bury, has been published in 16 languages and is being developed for a feature film.

Thursday, November 15, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

May Yang presents Leaving Laos, with Pang Yang

Through the ups and downs of life, whom do you count on the most?

Twelve-year-old Blong does not have much, but he has his older sister Ka-Ying. Now, their world is suddenly and forever changed. Homes are abandoned. People disappear overnight. Any new friendship is temporary.

The year is 1975, and South Vietnam has fallen to North Vietnam. The Vietnam War is finally over. In the neighboring country of Laos, the Royal Lao Army is defeated by the Communist Pathet Lao. That civil war, too, ends. American soldiers who were fighting in the Secret War in Laos are returning home to America. The Hmong, who were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Secret War, are now going to be persecuted and punished for helping the Americans.

Blong, his sister, and their grandparents must find a way to escape from Laos. The Communist Pathet Lao is celebrating their victory, but already there are rumors of retribution against the Hmong.

May Yang is a Hmong American high school English teacher and taught for 19 years in both Minnesota and Florida. She took a one year break from teaching and worked in educational test and survey administration and processing. It was during this break that May wrote her first novel, Leaving Laos. As an educator, she noticed the lack of diversity with regard to young adult novels, and it never sat well with her. This was one of the many reasons she was so passionate about publishing a book for this genre. 

Pang Yang is a graduate of St. Paul Public Schools, a lifelong educator, and a mother of 7 children. She works to preserve the Hmong language, culture, and history in her Hmong for Native Speakers World Language courses and her community.  Amplifying student voices through published books is one way to she helps tell authentic stories from the heart.

Sunday, November 18, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Dorothy Van Soest launches Death, Unchartered

When a child’s skeleton is discovered during the excavation of the site for a new charter school being built in the Bronx, former teacher Sylvia Jensen is certain of only two things. She is sure that the remains are those of eight-year-old Markus LeMeur, her third-grade student who disappeared in the violent and tumultuous fall of 1968. And she is sure that his death was no accident. Determined to find out who killed Markus and why, Sylvia again joins forces with investigative reporter J. B. Harrell and together they delve into the strikes and political protests of the late 1960s and corporate greed of the present. As Sylvia fights to make peace with her own past, she realizes that she missed her chance to save Markus, and she becomes driven to find his killer, before he can kill again.

Novelist Dorothy Van Soest, professor emerita and retired dean at the University of Washington, holds a B.A. in English Literature and a Masters and Ph.D. in Social Work. Death, Unchartered, the second of her Sylvia Jensen mysteries, is grounded in her career as an educator that spanned the teaching of high school English, elementary and preschool, undergraduate and graduate courses at the university levels. dorothyvansoest.com

Sunday, November 18, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota. This reading series is free and open to the public.

Monday, November 26, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Peter Sagal presents The Incomplete Book of Running

Peter Sagal, the host of NPR’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! and a popular columnist for Runner’s World, shares lessons, stories, advice, and warnings gleaned from running the equivalent of once around the earth.

At the verge of turning forty, Peter Sagal—brainiac Harvard grad, short bald Jew with a disposition towards heft, and a sedentary star of public radio—started running seriously. And much to his own surprise, he kept going, faster and further, running fourteen marathons and logging tens of thousands of miles on roads, sidewalks, paths, and trails all over the United States and the world, including the 2013 Boston Marathon, where he crossed the finish line moments before the bombings.

In this new book, Sagal reflects on the trails, tracks, and routes he’s traveled, from the humorous absurdity of running charity races in his underwear—in St. Louis, in February—or attempting to “quiet his colon” on runs around his neighborhood—to the experience of running as a guide to visually impaired runners, and the triumphant post-bombing running of the Boston Marathon in 2014. With humor and humanity, Sagal also writes about the emotional experience of running, body image, the similarities between endurance sports and sadomasochism, the legacy of running as passed down from parent to child, and the odd but extraordinary bonds created between strangers and friends. The result is a funny, wise, and powerful meditation about running and life that will appeal to readers everywhere.

Peter Sagal is the host of the Peabody Award-winning NPR news quiz Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, the most popular show on public radio, heard by five million listeners each week. He is also a playwright, a screenwriter, the host of Constitution USA with Peter Sagal on PBS, a one-time extra in a Michael Jackson music video, a contributor to publications from Opera News to The Magazine of the AARP and a featured columnist in Runner’s World. He’s run fourteen marathons across the United States. Sagal lives near Chicago with his wife Mara.