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Posts about Book news

Minnesota photographer James Crnkovich launches new book

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: June 23, 2014 - 5:20 PM

"Reds, Virginia, Minnesota, 1985" by James Crnkovich

Former Minnesota photographer James Crnkovich returns to his home state for a five-day tour to launch a sweet book of his photos. Starting with a signing at the Saint Paul Saints game on July 1, the tour will include additional stops in St. Paul, Aurora, Gilbert, Virginia and Mountain Iron.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Crnkovich has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, has his work in the collection of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and has exhibited around the world. Locally he's best known for his 1980s photos of the Iron Range which were included in the exhibition "At a Close Range," which traveled to colleges, universities and historical societies throughout the Midwest.

His new paperback, "Authentic Americana: The Art of Social Documentary," reprints about 50 of his color and black-and-white images dating from 1980 to the present. Taken in Minnesota, New York, Boston, Phoenix, Chicago and elsewhere, they capture the American scene in all its gaudy  vulgarity, latent violence, decay, cornball nonsense, and good humor. His commentary about the images is as insightful as the pictures themselves. There's a certain tenderness and big hearted acceptance of human frailty and loneliness that makes his photos very special.

Now a resident of Mesa, Arizona, Crnkovich will be back home in Minnesota to promote the book at the following events. The book also is available through: Naciketas Press, 715 E. McPherson, Kirksville, MO 63501.

July 1: 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Saint Paul Saints "Christmas in July" game, Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Dr., St. Paul.

July 2: 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Common Good Books, Snelling at Grand, St. Paul.

July 3: 6 p.m., Aurora; 7 p.m., Gilbert. Patriotic Parades.

July 4: 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Aurora Public Library. 6 p.m. Virginia 4th of July parade.

July 5: 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Mac's Bar, 8881 Main St., Mountain Iron.

Ex-City Pages critic to write Lou Reed biography

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: January 8, 2014 - 5:22 PM

Lou Reed/Associated Press

Rolling Stone writer Will Hermes, a former music critic at City Pages in the 1990s, has signed to write a biography of Lou Reed for Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the New York Times reports.

The working title is “Lou: A New York Life.” Reed, the Rock Hall of Famer considered the godfather of indie rock, died in October at age 71.

Hermes, a native New Yorker, has also written for Spin, Entertainment Weekly, the Village Voice and the New York Times, among other places. He is the author of the 2011 book, “Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever,” which looked at the music of Talking Heads, the Ramones and others in the 1970s.

Watch Reed doing "Sweet Jane" on David Letterman in 1994:

Bestseller Michael Connelly making Frank Morgan jazz biopic

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: December 4, 2013 - 12:57 PM
Bestselling crime fiction writer Michael Connelly at Talking Volumes on Dec. 3. Photo by Tom Campbell.

At the final Talking Volumes event of the 2013 season, crime novelist (and jazz lover) Michael Connelly said he was co-producing a documentary about Minneapolis-born jazz saxophonist Frank Morgan, who died in 2007. Connelly said he often listens to jazz when he writes, especially when he's writing about his popular detective hero Harry ("Hieronymous") Bosch.

Connelly said that Morgan's family members, some of whom were in the audience at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on Tuesday, had been very helpful in making the documentary, "Sound of Redemption," which Connelly said is likely to be released in spring 2014.

Morgan was born in Minneapolis in 1933, raised mostly in Milwaukee and then moved to Los Angeles, where drugs soon led him to an adult life spent in and out of prison. His late-in-life comeback began in the mid-1980s, and included gigs at the Dakota in Minneapolis, after he moved back to Minneapolis in 2005. The Morgan documentary is being directed by N.C. Heikin, and includes interviews as well as archival footage. James Egan is another producer.

Connelly has written about his love of Morgan's music, and how he came to the idea that detective Bosch would love it, too.

Prince to be profiled in comic-book biography

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: December 4, 2013 - 3:51 AM

Michael Jackson and Madonna already got theirs. So have Beyonce, Drake and Adele. Cher and 50 Cent, too.

Now Prince is going to be profiled in a comic-book biography. It’s called “Fame: Prince,” published by Bluewater Productions. The 32-page comic, offered in both digital (at iTunes) and print formats (at Comic Flea Market), is available with two different covers.

Bluewater has collaborated with William Shatner, Ray Harryhausen and Vincent Price on comic projects. Next up in its biography series are Johnny Depp and Sharon Osbourne.

“Fame: Prince” author Michael Frizell admits to preferring Prince over Jackson. "Writing [it] was like reliving my teenage years,” he said in a statement. “For me, the music scene wasn’t defined by Michael Jackson, despite his success with Thriller. The 80’s, and music in general for me, were defined by Prince. He takes chances in his music, doesn’t sell out as an artist in order to make money, and still ends up on top.”

Mom, dad and Pat Conroy

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: November 13, 2013 - 12:45 PM
Pat Conroy at Talking Volumes, Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, on 11/12/13. Photo by Tom Campbell.
As millions of readers know, Pat Conroy has major parent issues.
The bestselling author of such hit books as "The Great Santini" and "The Prince of Tides" was in St. Paul on Tuesday night as part of Talking Volumes, a series that brings writers to town for live interviews at the Fitzgerald Theater.
Much of his hour-long talk with Kerri Miller of Minnesota Public Radio centered on his beautiful, "beloved mom" and his violent, abusive and egomaniacal dad. (Conroy always used "mom" and "dad" in referring to his parents, not "mother" and "father.") 
Conroy described the rage and frustration he experienced as a boy when he couldn't protect his mother from his father's violent abuse. He described how he and his siblings learned to duck and hide from Donald Conroy's wrath.
His new book, "The Death of Santini," is a memoir that revisits some of the horrors of growing up as well as the changes he said his father underwent in the latter years of his life. "My dad had a great second act," Conroy said, referring to his father's occasional realizations that he had been a bad parent and that all his children "hated his guts."
Conroy's hair-curling stories of his violent, peripatetic childhood were softened by his folksy-dark humor. When his fighter-pilot dad said, "I should have beaten you more, you'd a been a better writer," Conroy says he replied, "If you beat me any more, I'd be Shakespeare."
His father belittled Conroy's decision to become a writer as "gay," so Conroy later got a Hollywood studio write to his father telling him that  they had decided to cast Truman Capote to play him in the movie, "The Great Santini." (In fact that part was played by Robert Duvall.")
Conroy said that while he wasn't wild about cold weather, he thought he would make a good Minnesotan because everyone here is so unhappy. Later he asked, "Does everyone in Minnesota keep a journal?"
Asked for his views on religion, Conroy said that for him, writing had a spiritual aspect, and that he would like to see the Catholic Church make writer Flannery O'Connor a saint.
Conroy praised his mother for encouraging her children to read, and praised the novelist Thomas Wolfe for turning him on to the glories of fiction. "When I read 'Look Homeward, Angel,' I was changed forever," he said.
As one audience member commented via Twitter: "#PatConroy has the audience shifting swiftly between shared tears & brilliant laughter."
Star Tribune books editor Laurie Hertzel recently profiled Conroy,here.
The conversation with Conroy will be broadcast Nov. 25 in the 11 a.m. hour on MPR. More quotes and comments from the evening can be read on Twitter, under the hashtag #TalkingVolumes.



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