Upcoming Events

Wednesday, August 22, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Christopher A. Paul presents The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games: Why Gaming Culture Is the Worst

Video games have brought entertainment, education, and innovation to millions, but gaming also has its dark sides. From the deep-bred misogyny epitomized by GamerGate to the endemic malice of abusive player communities, gamer culture has had serious real-world repercussions, ranging from death threats to sexist industry practices and racist condemnations.

In The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games, new media critic and longtime gamer Christopher A. Paul explains how video games’ focus on meritocracy empowers this negative culture. Games typically valorize skill and technique, and common video-game practices (such as leveling) build meritocratic thinking into the most basic premises. Video games are often assumed to have an even playing field, but they facilitate skill transfer from game to game, allowing certain players a built-in advantage.

The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games identifies deep-seated challenges in the culture of video games—but all is not lost. As Paul argues, similarly meritocratic institutions like professional sports and higher education have found powerful remedies to alleviate their own toxic cultures, including active recruiting and strategies that promote values such as contingency, luck, and serendipity. These can be brought to the gamer universe, Paul contends, ultimately fostering a more diverse, accepting, and self-reflective culture that is not only good for gamers but good for video games as well.

Christopher A. Paul is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Communication Department at Seattle University. He also wrote: Wordplay and the Discourse of Video Games: Analyzing Words, Design, and Play. Prior to joining SeattleU, he spent a decade in Minnesota getting his undergraduate degree from Macalester and going to graduate school at University of Minnesota.

Thursday, August 23, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mara Altman presents Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back), moderated by the Loft's Steph Opitz

For every woman who has ever heard the phrase, “That’s so gross!” aimed in the direction of her hairy legs or sweaty pit stains, Mara Altman gets it. As a newly pubescent eighth grader, those three words simultaneously indicted her bare, unshaven legs and sparked a lifelong obsession with the female body and its many (often-embarrassing) excretions.

Arranging the collection into two parts, Altman takes readers on a wild and relatable ride from head to toe. In Part One, “The Top Half,” she tackles topics such as body hair, lice, facial features, sex sounds, sweat glands, boobs, and belly buttons. In Part Two, she investigates “The Bottom Half”—why dogs sniff crotches, why butts are considered attractive, if anal sex worsens hemorrhoids, whether PMS is real, and much, much more. Why, for example, wasn’t evolution smart enough to build us with buttholes made of out something more durable, like lead piping?

Altman’s journey to answer this and other questions take her to an inventor’s workshop, a plastic surgeon’s exam table, a menstrual retreat, and nudist colony. She interviews doctors, scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, researchers, historians, and scholars. Along the way, Altman uses her personal experiences as springboards and her own body as guinea pig, laying bare her innermost anxieties and physical foibles. Altman unsparingly documents the weird, quixotic, and downright icky aspects of bodily functions in her quest to diminish the sting of shame and find space for self-love and acceptance—gross parts and all.

With the dark humor of a trusted friend (who enthusiastically shares her favorite pimple-popping YouTube videos), Altman holds a magnifying glass to commonly held beliefs, practices, biases, and the most grody body parts to show that even in grossness, there is greatness.

Mara Altman enjoys writing about issues that embarrass her (e.g. chin hair), because she has found that putting shame on the page diffuses the stigma, leaving her with a sense of empowerment and freedom. Her first book, Thanks for Coming, an investigation into love and orgasm, was translated into three languages. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon and New York Magazine among other publications. Before going freelance, She worked as a staff writer for the Village Voice and daily newspapers in India and Thailand. She is an alumna of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives in San Diego with quite a few other hairy beings.

Steph Opitz is the founding director of Wordplay at The Loft Literary Center. She serves on committees for the National Book Foundation, PEN America, Rain Taxi, among others. She has curated literary events and festivals around the country and was the books reviewer for Marie Claire magazine for six years. Her book reviews can also be found in Garden & Gun, Departures, Kirkus, and elsewhere.

Sunday, August 26, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

An Evening of Poetry with Blue Light Press

Come join us for an evening of poetry with writers published by Blue Light Press.

Patricia Barone’s The Scent of Water is from Blue Light Press; another collection of poetry, Your Funny, Funny Face, is forthcoming. New Rivers Press published her first book of poetry, Handmade Paper, and a novella, The Wind. Periodicals include The Shop (Ireland), Great River Review, Pleiades, Commonweal, The Seattle Review, Visions International, and the Widener Review. She has received a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in poetry, a Lake Superior Contemporary Writers Award for a short story, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Career Opportunity Grant.

K.B. Ballentine’s fifth collection, Almost Everything, Almost Nothing, was published in 2017 by Middle Creek Publishing. Two collections, The Perfume of Leaving and What Comes of Waiting, won the 2016 and 2013 Blue Light Press Book Awards. Published in many print and online journals, her work also appears in In Plein Air (2017), Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (2017), River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century (2015), and other anthologies. Learn more about KB Ballentine at www.kbballentine.com.

Diane Frank is an award-winning poet and author of seven books of poems. Her new book of poems, Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, was recently published by Glass Lyre Press. Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Diane lives in San Francisco, where she dances, plays cello, and creates her life as an art form. She teaches Poetry and Fiction Workshops at San Francisco State University and Dominican University. She is editor of the bestselling anthology, River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the 21st Century. She also plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony. 

Helga Kidder is a native of Germany’s Black Forest and lives in the Tennessee hills with her husband, Everett.  She was awarded an MFA in Writing from Vermont College.  She is co-founder of the Chattanooga Writers Guild and leads their poetry group.  Her poetry most recently has been published by Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, On the Veranda, and was featured in Southern Light, Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets, the Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee, and Carrying the Branch: Poetry in Search of Peace. She has three poetry collections, Wild Plums (2012 Finishing Line Press), Luckier than the Stars (2013 Blue Light Press), and Blackberry Winter (2016 Blue Light Press).

Mary Kay Rummel was Ventura County’s first Poet Laureate (from 2014-16). Her eighth book of poetry, Cypher Garden, was recently published by Blue Light Press of San Francisco. Her previous book of poetry, The Lifeline Trembles, won the 2014 Blue Light Poetry Prize. Other prize winning books include: What’s Left is the Singing (Blue Light Press); This Body She’s Entered (New Rivers Press); Love in the End (Bright Hill Press). She has been called a “powerhouse reader” and has read her poems in many venues and festivals across the US and in London and Ireland.

Tuesday, August 28, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Alexandra Tweten presents Bye Felipe: Disses, Dick Pics, and Other Delights of Modern Dating, in conversation with Kara Nesvig

After one too many hostile dating app encounters, Alexandra Tweten set up the Instagram account @ByeFelipe, a place for women to protest the horrors of online dating and to share stories and screenshots of their own experiences. Three years later, the account has become a forum where women can fight back against the men who have made them uncomfortable, scared, and embarrassed--and to laugh at the appalling men they encounter.

The name of Bye Felipe is a nod to the "Bye Felicia" meme, which Urban Dictionary defines as a cool dismissal of a noxious person.  In that spirit, the book helps women navigate the perils that come with swiping right and provides practical steps to overcome the harassment rampant in the dating app ether. Blending humor, feminist theory, and solidarity, this "field guide" provides profiles of the worst types of guys (also known as "Felipes")--from the classic fat shamer to the mansplainer to the surprise sociopath--answers questions like "How do I react when a guy sends me a dick pic?," and gives women the tools they need to take control of their dating life. With stories, screenshots, and Riot Grrrl-esque graphic art throughout, Bye Felipe empowers women to stand up for themselves and uphold the confidence and self-worth Felipes try so desperately to steal.

Alexandra Tweten is the creator of ByeFelipe and has been called a "Feminist-Tinder-Creep-Busting Web Vigilante." She has been featured in national media outlets including the New York Times, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Cosmopolitan, and has recently appeared on Good Morning America and Nightline. Tweten co-hosts the V Single Podcast on iTunes and has been a guest speaker at universities, the L.A. Museum of Broken Relationships, and the Sexting Art Festival in NY. She is the subject of the forthcoming short-form documentary #Internetfamous. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Kara Nesvig is a Twin Cities-based style, beauty and Kardashians writer for Teen Vogue, Allure, City Pages, and Star Tribune. She lives in downtown Minneapolis with her fiancé and their many, many pairs of shoes — rivaled only by Kara's many, many, MANY books, most of which are from Magers & Quinn, a store she refers to as her "boyfriend." Kara and Ali have been best friends since they met on the playground in their small town back in 1994.

Thursday, August 30, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Stephen Markley presents Ohio, in conversation with Chris Stedman

The debut of a major talent; a lyrical and emotional novel set in an archetypal small town in northeastern Ohio—a region ravaged by the Great Recession, an opioid crisis, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—depicting one feverish, fateful summer night in 2013 when four former classmates converge on their hometown, each with a mission, all haunted by the ghosts of their shared histories.

Since the turn of the century, a generation has come of age knowing only war, recession, political gridlock, racial hostility, and a simmering fear of environmental calamity. In the country’s forgotten pockets, where industry long ago fled, where foreclosures, Walmarts, and opiates riddle the land, death rates for rural whites have skyrocketed, fueled by suicide, addiction and a rampant sense of marginalization and disillusionment. This is the world the characters in Stephen Markley’s brilliant debut novel, Ohio, inherit. This is New Canaan.

At once a murder mystery and a social critique, Ohio ingeniously captures the fractured zeitgeist of a nation through the viewfinder of an embattled Midwestern town and offers a prescient vision for America at the dawn of a turbulent new age.

“Stephen Markley is an expert cartographer of the American Rust Belt and the haunted landscapes of his characters' interiors. A fast-moving and devastating debut.” —Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!

Stephen Markley is an author, screenwriter, and journalist. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Markley’s previous books include the memoir Publish This Book: The Unbelievable True Story of How I Wrote, Sold, and Published This Very Book, and the travelogue Tales of Iceland. He lives in Los Angeles.

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.

Wednesday, September 5, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Kathleen E. Allen presents Leading from the Roots: Nature Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World

Can we design organizations in a way that creates a space where employees, the organization, and the larger community all thrive? And if so, where can we go for inspiration to help us achieve this goal?

In a time of volatile and complex uncertainty, it is time to learn the lessons that nature has compiled from 3.8 billion years of research and development. Nature is an interdependent, dynamic and living system – just like today’s organizations and communities. Kathleen Allen uses nature as a model, mentor, and muse to rethink how leadership is practiced today. Leading from the Roots: Nature Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World takes nature as a source of inspiration to help organizations see a new way of leading and designing workplace structure, applying the generous framework found in mature ecologies to human organizations.

In Leading from the Roots, Kathleen Allen helps shift assumptions, practices, structures, and processes of organizations to become more resilient and nourishing for all, and, along the way, design the way out of workplace dysfunction and drama.

Dr. Kathleen E. Allen is President of Allen and Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership coaching, innovation, and organizational change in non-profit and for-profit organizations.

She is the author of Leading from the Roots: Nature Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World and has written widely on leadership and change. She writes a weekly blog on leadership and organizations that describes a new paradigm of leadership based in lessons from nature and living systems. She has a doctorate in leadership from the University of San Diego.

Thursday, September 6, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Dianna E. Anderson presents Problematic: How Toxic Callout Culture Is Destroying Feminism

From Beyoncé’s Lemonade to The Force Awakens to the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, the entertainment industry seems to be embracing the power of women like never before. But with more feminist content comes more feminist criticism—and it feels as if there’s always something to complain about.

Dianna E. Anderson’s incisive Problematic takes on the stereotype of the perpetually dissatisfied feminist. Anderson suggests that our insistence on feminist ideological purity leads to shallow criticism and ultimately hurts the movement. She proposes new, more nuanced forms of feminist thought for today’s culture, illustrated by examples from across the spectrum of popular music, movies, and TV, including Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and even One Direction.

While grounding her inquiry in pop-culture media and topics, Anderson draws on concepts of feminist theory to show how we can push for continued cultural change while still acknowledging the important feminist work being done in the pop-culture sphere today.

Dianna E. Anderson is a freelance journalist, author, and activist in women’s issues. She is a regular contributor to Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, the Establishment, Vice, and Bitch magazine. Anderson is the author of Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity.

Sunday, September 9, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Poetry and Fiction: William Reichard and Ellen Lansky

Join us for a mixed-genre evening of poetry (William Reichard) and fiction (Ellen Lansky).

About William Reichard's The Night Horse:

The Night Horse: New and Selected Poems gathers work from William Reichard’s first five poetry collections, and adds to them a generous selection of new work. MacArthur Award-winning writer Patricia Hampl says this about the new collection: “The lifeline of this striking gathering of Reichard’s new and previous work is the tensile strength of his fine attention, his refusal to look away either from the past or the present moment… These poems have a soul of elegy…ever faithful to the inner life of poetry.” National Book Award winner had this to say about Reichard’s first collection: “His poems are beautifully open to the ‘bent’ in all its senses: the not-straight, the damaged, the curves the world throws us. These are delicately etched lyrics.”

William Reichard is a writer, editor, and educator. The tenth child of ten, he grew up in rural Minnesota, and learned, at an early age, to take refuge in books. Reichard has published five previous poetry collections: An Alchemy in the Bones (New Rivers Press, 1999); How To (Mid-List Press, 2004); This Brightness (Mid-List Press, 2007); Sin Eater (Mid-List Press, 2010); and Two Men Rowing Madly Toward Infinity (Broadstone Books, 2016). Reichard is the editor of American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice (New Village Press, 2011), an anthology of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that addresses some of the most pressing social issues of our time. Reichard holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph. D in American Literature from the University of Minnesota.

About Ellen Lansky's Suburban Heathens:

Suburban Heathens follows the trajectory of parallel and converging catastrophes that begin with the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s and the protagonist’s best friend’s death, and continue in the 90s with her father’s struggle with heart disease, actually made worse by medical interventions. The wandering lesbian daughter is called home to a Jewish enclave in the suburbs of Shawnee Mission, Kansas—halfway between the Shawnee Indian Mission and the Osawatomie State Mental Hospital. There, she witnesses a hospital melodrama brings to light the family history of displacement, heart disease (literal and metaphoric), cancer, death, struggle, and loss as well as recovery and regeneration.

Ellen Lansky was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. She is a fiction writer whose short stories have appeared in Stiller’s Pond, New North Artscape, Sugar Mule, Evergreen Chronicles. Her first novel, Golden Jeep (North Star Press), was published in 2011.  Her essays on literature and addiction have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Literature and Medicine and Dionysos. She attended St. Catherine University (BA). Binghamton University (MA), and the University of Minnesota (PhD).  Currently, she lives in Minneapolis and teaches literature, composition, and creative writing at Inver Hills Community College.

Tuesday, September 11, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mindy Mejia presents Leave No Trace

From the author of the “compelling” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and critically acclaimed Everything You Want Me to Be, a riveting and suspenseful thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a boy and his stunning return ten years later.

There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later... the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

Mindy Mejia is the author of The Dragon Keeper and Everything You Want Me To Be. She writes what she likes to read: contemporary, plot-driven books that deliver both entertainment and substance. She lives in the Twin Cities and holds an MFA from Hamline University.

Wednesday, September 12, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Bill Percy presents The Bishop Burned the Lady

A mysterious fire in a remote forest clearing; a woman's charred bones; unexplained tracks in the rutted road—the only clues Deputy Andi Pelton has until she meets an old man living alone in a forest compound that houses a dormitory. Sex trafficking in the Montana wilderness? As Andi and psychologist Ed Northrup struggle to solve the brutal fiery murder, Andi faces a fear she didn’t know she had.

The horrors they unearth lead them deep into the appalling reality of prison gangs and a cult led by a malign Bishop. They threaten Andi and Ed’s romance and her growing bond with her “step-girlfriend,” Ed’s adopted daughter, Grace.

Will that center hold when Andi finds the Bishop holding a knife against her throat? And if it does and she succeeds, will she be able to face her greater fear?

Bill Percy, an award-winning Idaho writer, draws on his experiences as a psychotherapist to write vivid, engaging tales of people confronting painful and challenging mysteries. His previous novels in the Monastery Valley series, Climbing the Coliseum and Nobody’s Safe Here, were finalists or distinguished favorites in multiple book award competitions. Bill lives with his wife, Michele, in Hope, Idaho, above the shore of idyllic Lake Pend Oreille in the shadow of the rugged Cabinet Mountains.

Thursday, September 13, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Barrie Jean Borich presents Apocalypse, Darling, with photographer Laura Migliorino and writers Sheila O’Connor and Danielle Bylund

This special event is the only scheduled Twin Cities reading of Barrie Jean Borich’s new book Apocalypse, Darling, and includes three special guests, all artists Borich has published in her magazine Slag Glass City, all presenting on on the broad theme of “apocalypse.” Book cover photographer Laura Migliorino will show some of her photographs of the region portrayed in the book, and Twin Cities writers Sheila O’Connor and Danielle Bylund will do short readings, followed by Borich reading selections from Apocalypse, Darling.

About Apocalypse, Darling:

"Apocalypse, Darling soars and seems to live as a new form altogether. It's poetry, a meditation on life as "the other,” creative non-fiction, and abstract art." - PopMatters, who named Apocalypse, Darling one of the best books of 2018.

From award-winning author Barrie Jean Borich comes Apocalypse, Darling, a lyric memoir exploring the clash between old and new. Set in the steel mill regions of Chicago and in Northwest Indiana, the story centers on Borich’s return to a decimated landscape for a misbegotten wedding in which her spouse’s father marries his high school sweetheart. The book is a lilting journey into an ill-fated moment, where families attempt to find communion in tense gathering spaces and across their most formative disappointments. Borich tells the story of the industrial heartland that produced the steel that made American cities—while also being one of the most toxic environmental sites in the world.

As concise as a poem and as sweeping as an epic novel, Apocalypse, Darling explores the intersection of American traditional and self-invented social identities and the destruction and regreening of industrial cityscapes. Borich asks: Can toxic landscapes actually be remediated, and can patriarchal fathers ever really be forgiven? In a political climate where Borich is forced to daily reenter the toxic wastelands she thought she’d long left behind, Apocalypse, Darling is an urgent collision of broken spaces, dysfunctional affections, and the reach toward familial and environmental repair.

Barrie Jean Borich's memoir Body Geographic won a Lambda Literary Award, an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) Gold Medal in Essay/Creative Nonfiction, and a 2013 Forward INDIE Bronze Award for Essays. Her book-length essay My Lesbian Husband won the Stonewall Book Award, and her first book, Restoring the Color of Roses (1993), was published by Firebrand Books, an independent feminist press. Borich teaches now at DePaul University where she edits Slag Glass City, a journal of the urban essay arts, but spent many years living in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota where she was the first nonfiction editor of the Water~Stone Review and a faculty member in The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University. barriejeanborich.com

Danielle Bylund is a freelance writer and editor currently residing in sleepy Saint Paul, MN. She has a BA in English from Columbia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. Previously she worked as the Assistant Managing Editor for Water~Stone Review and the Associate Fiction Editor for Runestone Literary Journal, and as a writing instructor at Hamline University. She has had fiction and nonfiction published in Slag Glass City, Pointed Circle Literary Journal, and rock, paper, scissors. Currently, she is an Editorial Coordinator for Paper Darts Literary Magazine and is a board member of the Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable. daniellebylund.com

Laura Miglorino was born in Cleveland Ohio, and grew up in a Chicago Heights, a Chicago suburb. Migliorino's BFA is from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA is from the University of Minnesota. She teaches at Anoka-Ramsey Community College as a Photography professor. Migliorino received numerous grants from the Jerome Foundation, several Minnesota State Arts Board grants and various exhibition prizes. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center, Weisman Museum in Minneapolis and The Minnesota Center for Book Arts. She has exhibited internationally for over 30 years. Migliorino’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, DOMUS Magazine, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and DWELL Magazine.

Sheila O’Connor is the author of five novels, including her most recent novel for young people, Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth.  In fall 2019, her new hybrid novel for adults, Reconstructing V, will be published by Rose Metal Press. Awards for her novels include the Michigan Prize for Literary Fiction, Minnesota Book Award, International Reading Award, and Midwest Booksellers Award among others. Her books have been included in Best Books of the Year by Booklist, VOYA, Book Page, Bank Street, Chicago Public Library, and Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers.  Her work has been recognized with fellowships from the Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and Minnesota State Arts Board. She is a professor in the MFA program at Hamline University where she serves as Fiction Editor for Water~Stone Review.

Sunday, September 16, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Alison McGhee presents What I Leave Behind, with Amy McNamara and A Flicker in the Clarity

About What I Leave Behind:

Sixteen-year-old Will spends most of his days the same way: Working at the Dollar Only store, trying to replicate his late father’s famous cornbread recipe, and walking the streets of Los Angeles. Will started walking after his father committed suicide, and three years later he hasn’t stopped. But there are some places Will can’t walk by: The blessings store with the chest of 100 Chinese blessings in the back, the bridge on Fourth Street where his father died, and his childhood friend Playa’s house.

When Will learns Playa was raped at a party—a party he was at, where he saw Playa, and where he believes he could have stopped the worst from happening if he hadn’t left early—it spurs Will to stop being complacent in his own sadness. He begins to leave small gifts for everyone in his life. And it is through those acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and truly begin to live his life again. Oh, and discover the truth about that cornbread.

Alison McGhee is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, as well as Maybe a Fox, Firefly Hollow, Little Boy, So Many Days, Star Bright, A Very Brave Witch, and the Bink and Gollie books. Her other children’s books include All Rivers Flow to the Sea, Countdown to Kindergarten, and Snap. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Laguna Beach, California. You can visit her at AlisonMcGhee.com.

About A Flicker in the Clarity:

Evie and Emma are inseparable. Two halves of a whole, they balance each other until Evie makes a flip decision that gets Emma in serious trouble. Feeling the sting of betrayal, Emma freezes Evie out leaving Evie full of regret, desperately sorry, sad, and—for the first time in her life—entirely alone. Then Evie meets Theo, a boy who offers her a view of the world through a different lens. Just as she lets herself fall for Theo, Emma resurfaces—but not without consequence. Emma’s erratic behavior, drunken mishaps, and panicked phone calls leave Evie afraid there’s something deeper going on. Evie wants to help Emma, but Emma is bent on self-destruction. All Evie wants is her friend back—but can you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Amy McNamara's poems have appeared in numerous journals and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first novel, Lovely, Dark and Deep, won an ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Award, was an ABC New Voices Pick, and was nominated as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her online at amymcnamara.com.

Tuesday, September 18, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Graphic Novel Night with Blue Delliquanti

Minneapolis artist Blue Delliquanti will be discussing the explosion of comics and graphic novels within the past 15 years and their increasingly popular use to tell stories traditionally limited to prose - be they non-fiction, journalism, diaries, recipes, and many more. Her recent collaboration with Kevin Knodell and David Axe, The 'Stan, is a collection of short comics about America's longest war. The tales in the book are all true and took place in roughly the first decade of the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan.

"Delliquanti's cartoonish style is just detailed enough as not to overshadow the magnitude of the stories, giving unique expressions to faces while simplifying the imagery for any reader to understand. The result is accessible to military and human-interest readers who might be new to comics. Based on on-the-ground reporting by Knodell and Axe, this realistic view of an ongoing conflict, rendered in a casual yet powerful voice, not only acts as a necessary record of experiences and sacrifice but as a humble thanks to all those who have lived--or are still living--through them." --Publisher's Weekly

Blue Delliquanti is a comic artist based out of Minneapolis. In addition to her art for The 'Stan, she is the co-creator of Meal (with Soleil Ho), and the creator of the Prism Award-winning webcomic O Human Star.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 about 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.

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.

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

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.