Open Daily: 10am - 10pm | Alley-side Pickup: 10am - 7pm 3038 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN
612-822-4611
  • Open Daily: 10am - 10pm
    Alley-side Pickup: 10am - 7pm

    3038 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN
    612-822-4611

Open Daily: 10am - 10pm | Alley-side Pickup: 10am - 7pm
3038 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN
612-822-4611

Kurt & Ellie Johnson present The Barrens

Wednesday, May 18, 7:00 PM
Off-Site Event - Registration Required

Register Now

Celebrate the launch of Kurt and Ellie Johnson's novel The Barrens!

Introduction by Minnesota Book Award Winner Peter Geye

Reading by Stephanie Hansen of myTalk Radio

Interview by Lori & Julia of myTalk Radio

 

This riveting debut is at once a white-water adventure, coming-of-age novel, and tale of tragic love—and an extraordinary father-daughter collaboration.

Two young women attending college decide to have a summer adventure canoeing the rapids-strewn Thelon River that runs 450 miles through the uninhabited Barren Lands of subarctic Canada. Holly made the trip once before with a group of skilled paddlers she trained with at camp, and she wants to share that experience with her friend and lover, Lee, believing it will draw them closer. But a week in, Holly, the risk-taker, falls while taking a selfie near the edge of a cliff. She is left injured and comatose, and soon dies. Their locator beacon for summoning rescue was smashed in Holly’s fall. It remains to Lee, the inexperienced paddler, to continue the grueling and dangerous trip alone, to save herself and return her lover’s body to civilization and Holly’s family.

In their relationship, Holly and Lee had always told each other stories; Holly had called Lee a “storyist.” Storytelling helps Lee endure the rigors of her journey and engage her grief as she explores her relationship with Holly while chronicling her own coming-of-age off the grid in Nebraska with her estranged eco-anarchist father who is now serving time in prison.

 

KURT JOHNSON lives in St. Paul and grew up spending summers on a remote island near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, first with his parents and later with his wife, Stephanie, and then their daughter, Ellie.

ELLIE JOHNSON paddled the 450-mile Thelon River with three other women at the age of seventeen. The novel is based in part on that canoe trip as well as her real-life experiences growing up as a gay woman. Ellie is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota and also lives in St. Paul.

 

 

A note about in person events:

 

We are very excited to bring authors and readers back together in person, and we know you are too!

We ask that you use honesty, care, and understanding in interacting with fellow event-goers, staff, and authors.

Please note that Magers & Quinn will always comply with current city and state regulations, and reserves the right to change the below policies at any time. These are guidelines only, and if you have questions about the most up to date information, you can always call us at 612-822-4611.

For information about how our in-person events will work over the coming months, please read on:

 

Q: Can I buy a book at the event?

A: Absolutely! Magers & Quinn will be on site at this event, selling books!

 

Q: Are masks required?

A: There is currently no mask requirement at this venue. If a requirement is added by city ordinance or author preference, we will inform attendees via email prior to the event.

Magers & Quinn continues to strongly recommend the use of masks or face coverings in event settings.

 

Q: Are in store events free?

A: Yes, Magers & Quinn events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

 

Q: Do I need to RSVP?

A: Yes, please. Each event will now include a registration link.

By requiring pre-registration, we can easily communicate event updates and policies with those who plan to attend, and can contact attendees after the event with follow-up information.

We strongly suggest registering via the Eventbrite link provided on our website, but if you are unable to sign up online, please call or visit the bookstore and register with a bookseller.

We may or may not be able to accommodate unregistered walk-ins, and seating priority will always be given to registered customers. We appreciate your understanding of this process!