A memoir of Alzheimer's, a collection of vibrant spoken-word poems about globalism and war, and a murder mystery set in North Dakota are among the winners of the Minnesota Book Awards, announced Saturday night in St. Paul.
Any book published in 2011 by a Minnesota writer was eligible to be considered. The long list of 270 titles was winnowed to a list of 32 finalists. The winners are:
• Children's literature: "BookSpeak! Poems About Books," by Laura Purdie Salas, is a collection of poems about all of the magic to be found on a bookshelf. Salas, who lives in Maple Grove, is a previous Minnesota Book Award finalist. (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
• General nonfiction: "Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America," by Shawn Lawrence Otto, is an exposé on anti-science views in modern America. Otto lives in Marine-on-St. Croix and is the former chairman of the Loft Literary Center board of directors. (Rodale)
• Genre fiction: "Big Wheat," by Richard A. Thompson, is a mystery about a serial killer set in the wheat fields of North Dakota in 1919. Thompson lives in St. Paul. (Poisoned Pen Press)
• Memoir and creative nonfiction: "A Song at Twilight: Of Alzheimer's and Love," by Nancy Paddock, is the story of the descent of both of Paddock's parents into the disease. Paddock is a poet who lives in Litchfield. (Blueroad Press)
• Minnesota: "Pioneer Modernists: Minnesota's First Generation of Women Artists," by Julie L'Enfant, tells the story of a generation of women artists in Minnesota who are often overlooked but who played an enormous role in the development of art schools and galleries. L'Enfant teaches at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul. (Afton Press)
• Novel and short story: "The Law of Miracles," by Gregory Blake Smith, is a collection of stories that walk the line between the everyday and the extraordinary. Smith is a professor at Carleton College in Northfield. (University of Massachusetts Press)
• Poetry: "Whorled," by Ed Bok Lee, is a collection that explores what it means to live in a time of war, technology and industrialization. Lee teaches at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. (Coffee House Press)
• Young people's literature: "With or Without You," by Brian Farrey, is a novel about two friends who grow apart after helping each other through homophobic bullying. Farrey is an acquisitions editor for Flux Books in Woodbury. (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster)
• Readers' choice award: "The Tanglewood Terror," by Kurtis Scaletta, is a middle-school adventure story about a boy named Eric who discovers an infestation of mysterious glowing mushrooms in the woods near his house. Scaletta lives in Minneapolis. (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
As previously announced, Allan Kornblum, founder of Coffee House Press, was honored with the Kay Sexton Award, which recognizes lifetime contributions to the state's literary community. Bridget O'Malley and Amanda Degener of Cave Paper received the fifth annual Book Artist Award.
And Mary Lethert Wingerd received the first Hognander Minnesota History Award for her book, "North Country: The Making of Minnesota," published by the University of Minnesota Press.
Laurie Hertzel • 612-673-7302