That longing that so many of us harbor to flee the big city for the Great North Woods is not a new dream, by any means. In September 1954, writer Helen Hoover impulsively quit her Chicago job (via telephone in Grand Marais) and headed back up the Gunflint Trail to the cabin she and her husband, Ade, had spent the summer refurbishing.
"The Hoovers had no plan for making a living," writes Minnetonka writer David R. Hakensen in the Spring 2014 issue of Minnesota History magazine. "Neither one hunted or fished … so living off the land was not an option." Yet they stayed for 16 years, with Helen Hoover writing several bestselling nature books, including "The Long-Shadowed Forest" and "A Place in the Woods."
Hakensen's article, "A Paradise Lost," recounts how Hoover and her husband moved to the North Woods — and why they eventually had to leave.
Hoover's books, which were re-released by the University of Minnesota Press, continue to sell.
• Lin Enger's novel "The High Divide" will be published in September by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Enger is the author of "Undiscovered Country" and the recipient of a James Michener Award. He teaches at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and will launch the book Sept. 24 at Common Good Books in St. Paul.
• "Dear Committee Members," a comic epistolary novel by Julie Schumacher, will be published in August by Doubleday. Schumacher is the author of "The Body Is Water," among other works. She teaches at the University of Minnesota, which is definitely not the "small and not very distinguished liberal arts college" of her book.
• "Further Joy," a collection of stories by John Brandon, will be published in June by McSweeney's. Brandon grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis and teaches at Hamline University. He is the author of three novels. He'll read from his new book at 7 p.m. June 18 at Common Good Books.
• "Northern Orchards: Places Near the Dead," by James Rogers, has been published by North Star Press. Rogers, director of the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas, will read from his book at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Trotters Cafe in St. Paul; at 7 p.m. June 4 at Common Good Books in St. Paul, and at 2 p.m. June 15 at Old Pioneer Cemetery in Minneapolis.
• "The Perilous St. Croix River Valley Frontier," by Ken Martens, has been published by the History Press. Martens will be at the Valley Booksellers at 10 a.m. June 7 and at Costco, 1431 Beam Av., Minneapolis, at 2 p.m. the same day.
• "Delicate Armor," by Connie Claire Szarke, has won the 2014 Delta Kappa Gamma Tau State Jeannette Fair Book Award for adult fiction by a Minnesota woman. She lives in the Twin Cities.