Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

Posts about Book news

William Kent Krueger rakes in a few more big awards

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: November 24, 2014 - 11:20 AM
Krueger tweeted this picture with the caption, "On my right, the Macavity. On my left, the Barry. Aren't they lovely?"

Krueger tweeted this picture with the caption, "On my right, the Macavity. On my left, the Barry. Aren't they lovely?"

So you still haven't read "Ordinary Grace"? You weren't persuaded by the glowing reviews that describe St. Paul author William Kent Krueger's novel as a cross between a mystery and a coming-of-age tale, a book with quiet beauty and compelling characters?

The novel, narrated by a middle-aged man looking back on his 1960s childhood in southwestern Minnesota, centers on a missing person and a murder, but is also about one family and the members' relationships with each other.

Maybe a ton of national awards will sway you.

"Ordinary Grace" won the Edgar Award earlier this year, and this month it has won, in quick succession, the Barry Award, the Anthony Award and the Macavity Award. This is what's known in the mystery-writing world as the "full EBAM."

What's the difference, you ask? What's the difference between an Oscar and a Golden Globe?

The Barry Award is an annual award presented by the editorial staff of Deadly Pleasures for the best works published in the field of crime fiction.

The Anthony Awards are literary awards for mystery writers, named for Anthony Boucher, one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America. And the Macavity Award is, well, that's another literary award for mystery writers.

No wonder the man in the picture is smiling so big.

William Kent Krueger to discuss sex trafficking

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: November 11, 2014 - 11:48 AM
William Kent Krueger.

William Kent Krueger.

"Windigo Island," William Kent Krueger's latest novel, is a mystery, yes, but it is also a book that shines a bright light onto a serious problem: the sex trafficking of young Native American girls.

Krueger's best-selling novels always give a glimpse into Native culture. His protagonist, Cork O'Connor, is half Irish and half Indian, a man who walks in both worlds.  But "Windigo Island" digs pretty deeply into the issues of poverty, racism and alcoholism, and its mystery centers on two missing Native girls.

Krueger will discuss the issue of sex trafficking on Nov. 19 at Black Bear Crossing cafe in Como Park. All proceeds from book sales that evening will be donated to Ain Dah Yung Center, a St. Paul organization that provides outreach and services to Native American families.

Krueger will be in conversation with Eileen Hudon and Christine Stark, both of whom have worked with the  Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition.

Here's the schedule for the evening:

5:30 p.m.: Welcome, food, and native drumming and solidary shawl project

6 p.m.: Krueger discussion.

7 p.m. Book reading and signing.

Black Bear Crossing is located at 1360 N. Lexington Parkway, in the pavilion of Como Park.

National Book Award long list in fiction

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: September 18, 2014 - 6:29 AM
Elizabeth McCracken, a finalist in 1996 for "The Giant's House," is on this yea's long list.

Elizabeth McCracken, a finalist in 1996 for "The Giant's House," is on this yea's long list.

Someone leaked the National Book Award long list to Huffington Post yesterday evening, and the New York Times published it, and so I did too, on Facebook, but here's the list again, this time with links to the Star Tribune reviews, where available.

And what a strong and interesting list!  A couple of story collections, a debut novel (written by a rock star), a novel set in the future, a novel set in the past, the last in a trilogy. And unlike the nonfiction list, which had only one woman, this one is evenly divided. 

The short list will be released Oct. 15 and the winner will be announced in November. Long lists for poetry, young people's literature, and nonfiction were released earlier this week.

Here goes:

Rabih Alameddine, ‘An Unnecessary Woman,’ Grove Press

Molly Antopol, ‘The UnAmericans,’ W.W. Norton & Company (short stories)

John Darnielle, ‘Wolf in White Van,’ Farrar, Straus and Giroux (debut novel)

Anthony Doerr, ‘All the Light We Cannot See,’ Scribner​

Phil Klay, ‘Redeployment,’ The Penguin Press

Emily St. John Mandel, ‘Station Eleven,’ Alfred A. Knopf

Elizabeth McCracken, ‘Thunderstruck & Other Stories,’ The Dial Press

Richard Powers, ‘Orfeo,’ W.W. Norton & Company

Marilynne Robinson, ‘Lila,’ Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Strib review runs in October)

Jane Smiley, ‘Some Luck,’ Alfred A. Knopf (Strib review runs in October)

Graphic book on long list for National Book Award

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: September 17, 2014 - 7:10 AM

The National Book Award long list for nonfiction was released this morning. Included on the list are a history of Paris during the time of the Nazis, a biography of Tennessee Williams, and a graphic memoir by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

The short list will be announced in October, and the winner announced in November.

Long lists for poetry and young people's literature were announced earlier this week. Tomorrow the fourth long-list, for fiction, will be announced.

Here are the nonfiction nominees:

Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury)

John Demos, The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic
(Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House)

Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
(Metropolitan Books/ Henry Holt and Company)

Nigel Hamilton, The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941 - 1942 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (Simon & Schuster)

John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (W.W. Norton & Company)

Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Ronald C. Rosbottom, When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 
(Little, Brown and Company/ Hachette Book Group)

Matthew Stewart, Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic (W.W. Norton & Company)

Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence (Liveright Publishing Corporation/ W.W. Norton & Company)

Two Graywolf Press books on longlist for National Book Award

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: September 16, 2014 - 8:27 AM

Two books published by Minneapolis' Graywolf Press are on the longlist for the National Book Award for poetry. The short list will be announced Oct. 15 and the winner announced in November.

Last year's winner, "Incarnadine," by Mary Szybist, was published by Graywolf.

Here's the list:

Louise Glück, ‘Faithful and Virtuous Night,’ Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Edward Hirsch, ‘Gabriel: A Poem,’ Alfred A. Knopf

Fanny Howe, ‘Second Childhood,’ Graywolf Press

Maureen N. McLane, ‘This Blue,’ Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Brian Blanchfield, ‘A Several World,’ Nightboat Books

Fred Moten, ‘The Feel Trio,’ Letter Machine Editions

Claudia Rankine, ‘Citizen: An American Lyric,’ Graywolf Press

Spencer Reece, ‘The Road to Emmaus,’ Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Mark Strand, ‘Collected Poems,’ Alfred A. Knopf

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