Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Aimee Blanchette, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.

Posts about Minnesota authors

Twin Cities Book Festival moves to State Fairgrounds Sat. Oct. 13

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: October 8, 2012 - 5:43 PM


View of the 2010 book fair


The 12th annual Twin Cities Book Festival will be held at the historic Progress Center Building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Saturday, October 13. Among the new attractions: Free Parking!

Events include a giant book fair featuring displays from publishers and literary agents, readings and panels with world-class authors, a used book sale, and storytelling in a children's pavilion. Plus assorted freebies. All sponsored by Rain Taxi Review of Books. Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

MN rocker Laurie Lindeen spills it for "Drinking Diaries"

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: September 6, 2012 - 6:38 PM


Laurie Lindeen / Star Tribune file

Laurie Lindeen / Star Tribune file

Go figure: A Minneapolis musician writing about drinking. It wouldn’t exactly be newsworthy, except in this case the musician is a woman and a proven author. Laurie Lindeen -- who crashed the local boy’s club of hard-swilling bands in the late-‘80s with Zuzu’s Petals -- has contributed a chapter to a new book, “Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Up Straight,” and her part is newly excerpted over at the Huffington Post.

“I was crawling on my hands and knees on a filthy concrete dressing room floor in Tijuana, Mexico,” Lindeen’s passage starts. From there, she chronicles an incredibly unsteady gig opening for Adam Ant in the infamous border town (which begs the question if the band’s booking agent at the time was hitting the bottle hard, too).

She also recounts more recent trials-by-alcohol performing at First Ave’s annual Rock for Pussy benefit concert. Her husband’s old band, the Replacements -- which could publish its own anthology of drunk-rocker stories -- is only mentioned in passing alongside other “drinking buddies” of old (Jayhawks, Soul Asylum): “We drank because it was fun and it was how otherwise socially challenged artistic types could comfortably socialize.”

As with her well-received memoir of 2008,“Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story,” Lindeen flips the typical rock ‘n’ roller tales of debauchery on end coming from the female perspective. That seems to be the tonic in the entire book, featuring work by other women authors including Jacquelyn Mitchard, Daphne Merkin and Kathryn Harrison. It's now available via Seal Press.


International art forger unmasked (again) in new memoir

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: August 28, 2012 - 11:50 AM

Mark Forgy with a fake Matisse painting by Elmyr de Hory in a 2009 exhibition at Gustavus Adolphus College. (Star Tribune photo by Glenn Stubbe)

The story of Mark Forgy, the Hopkins High grad who became the heir to the “greatest art forger of our time,” is almost as improbable as that of his benefactor, Elmyr de Hory. A Hungarian-born artist who fell into the forgery business after WW II, De Hory and his dealers successfully hawked his ersatz Picasso, Renoir, Matisse and Modigliani sketches into private and museum collections. Some have been denounced, but hundreds are believed to linger, undetected, in collections around the world.

Forgey, who now lives in New Prague,MN has just self-published The Forger’s Apprentice,” a lively, gossipy account of the seven years he spent with De Hory on the Spanish island of Ibiza where he was swept up in a jet-set world of film stars and literati (Ursula Andress, Robert Graves, Marlene Dietrich), third-tier aristos, small-time thugs and hangers on. Clifford Irving recounted DeHory’s life in a 1969 biography, “Fake,” and Orson Welles treated it in a 1974 documentary, “F for Fake.”

After De Hory’s death, by suicide in 1976, Forgy settled his estate, returned to Minnesota, and put the high life behind him — until now. “Apprentice” is an incredible read, full of utterly improbable but evidently real characters, and redeemed from its Euro-trash name dropping by Forgy’s down-home metaphors. Observing Dietrich at a London dinner party, he writes: “More alarmingly, her teeth had discolored as though placed in a water glass each night with a generous dollop of Copenhagen chewing tobacco.” Ouch.


Haunted Basement Tickets on sale at Soap Factory

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: August 1, 2012 - 1:15 PM

On the theory that it's never too soon for Halloween, the Soap Factory is now selling tickets for its popular "Haunted Basement" performance/installation which runs Oct. 5 - 31. Prepare for masks and mayhem with strobe lights and bizarre olefactory  stimulation. All this in a dank, dark basement. Ten artists have signed on to create scenes and plot-line options under the guidance of director Noah Bremer.

Having done this gig for the past five years, the Soap Factory crew have honed their skills and apparently talked to their lawyers. Thus there are guidelines. Visitors must be over age 18 and must check their bags at the door. Also, no booze, nor high heels or flip flops. Performances involve strobe lights, so no one prone to epileptic seizures should sign on. Other than that, prepare for scary fun. (Tickets are $22 plus a $3 fee. Available on line only at www. soapfactory.org)

'She was Grace': The official obit for Garrison Keillor's mother

Posted by: Tim Campbell Updated: July 27, 2012 - 10:07 PM



Warm, plainspoken, occasionally frank and with a tugging undercurrent of fondness. That's the tone of this memorial, released Friday afternoon by Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" team, which could be a model for any family struggling to sum up the life of a loved one in graceful prose:

Grace Keillor died Friday morning at her home in Brooklyn Park. She was 97. She was the mother of writer Garrison Keillor.

“Mother had a good long life and was still lucid a couple weeks ago and even had a good laugh about a dream she had had,” Keillor said. “She died in the house Dad built in 1947, with her children around her holding her hand and singing hymns.”

Grace Ruth Denham was born in Minneapolis on May 7, 1915, the day the Lusitania sank on its way to England. She was the last survivor of the 13 children of William and Marion Denham, who emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1911. She grew up on Longfellow Avenue in the Powderhorn neighborhood, attended Roosevelt High School, trained as a nurse and went to work at Eitel Hospital, across from Loring Park.

In 1936 she married John Keillor, who had courted her by singing hymns with the word “grace” in the title. They attended the Grace & Truth Gospel Hall on 14th Avenue South. John went in the Army in1942 and Grace and her three children lived with various relatives in St. Paul, Bettendorf, Iowa, and Anoka.

“Throughout her life, when adversity hit, my mother was strong, determined and persevering,” said her daughter Linda. “She did what had to be done — whether it was selling cookies door to door during the Depression, learning how to plant a garden or caring for a very sick husband. Besides her sense of fun and her love of family, what sustained Grace through good times and bad was her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, whom she firmly believed loved her and gave his life for the salvation of all of us. She loved having children. And when times were tough, she sheltered us from the fact that we were living life sometimes at the very edge. When John suffered a severe concussion after falling off a barn roof and when he battled spinal meningitis and some of her younger children had to move in with relatives, she painted it all as if it was going to be an adventure."

For the next two years, my mother and her three children — Philip, Judy and Gary — moved from home to home to live with various family members in Minnesota and Iowa. It wasn't easy but she taught us throughout her life how important her family — both Keillors and Denhams — were to her. She was Grace, grateful for the help they provided.

After John's service in World War II, he bought an acre of cornfield in Brooklyn Park, a stone’s throw from the Mississippi, and dug a basement and built a white frame house on it. They raised six children in that house and kept a half-acre vegetable garden. After his retirement from the Railway Mail Service, they enjoyed travel to Scotland, Nova Scotia, and around the U.S.



The Keillor family, with Garrison on his mother's lap.

John Keillor died in 2001, after 65 years of marriage. Grace lived on in the house surrounded by tall trees they had planted in 1948, entertaining her family, playing Scrabble, reading, singing hymns, and praying for her loved ones. In the last five years, she was cared for at home by Sharon, Nicole, Ramona, and Diane.

She is survived by five children: Judith E. Locke, of Greenville, S.C., Garrison (Jenny) of St. Paul, Steven J. (Margaret) of Askov, Stanley W. (Kay Gornick) of Mendota Heights, and Linda Keillor Berg (David) of Minneapolis, and by 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, as well asmany nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by son John Philip Jr., siblings Mary, Marion, Ruby, Jean, Margaret, William, James, Ina, George, Elsie, Joan, and Dorothy. Services will be private. 


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