Sure, there are curmudgeons and critics out there who would say, "Fiction in a newspaper? Happens every day!" But you and your hard-working journalist friends know that's not true...until now! Beginning Sunday, in the grand tradition of newspapers of old, the Star Tribune will publish a novel in daily installments over much of the summer.
It has been a fun and exciting project to work on. (Also, occasionally, tedious, given our complicated computer system.) But once we embarked on the journey to find a worthy book--and then acquire it (and learn a lot about royalties and contracts and the like, rather on the fly), edit it, design it, get it online, get the e-book formats ready, split it into daily installments for print--a whole team of people at the Strib has been kept very busy.
The book, "Giving Up the Ghost," was written by Mary Logue, who is a powerful and versatile writer, well-known for her poetry, children's books, mysteries, nonfiction and novels. (It doesn't get much more versatile than that.) She lives in Minneapolis and in Stockholm, Wis., and is married to the equally notable writer Pete Hautman.
Her book is a ghost story, set in a cabin in Minnesota's north woods, with plenty of vivid flashbacks that take place in the Twin Cities--at the old New French Cafe, in the Warehouse District, and other places.
We're hoping, of course, that you will rush to the newspaper every day to find out what happens next. (Or to the computer--we will have a dedicated page where you can catch up.) But it might be that you don't want to wait, or you're going out of town and will miss some installments, in which case we're also offering "Giving Up the Ghost" in e-book format.
I really hope you like it. Please let us know. And on Monday at noon (June 10), Mary will be in the newsroom to do a live-chat with you and other readers. Get yer questions ready.... just don't ask her, "What happens next?" Because that's what tomorrow is for.
MHS Express, a new digital imprint at the Minnesota Historical Society Press, features short-form pieces from a variety of places: new, unpublished essays; excerpts from upcoming titles; chapters and essays from older MHS books.
New titles include pieces by Ka Vang, Annette Atkins, and Will Weaver. Remember the hearbreaking movie, "Sweet Land"? It was an adaptation of one of Weaver's short stories, "A Gravestone Made of Wheat," which is now available as a stand-alone e-book.
Vang's e-book, "The Good Hmong Girl Eats Raw Laab," comes from "Hmong and American: From Refugees to Citizens."
Other authors whose work is--or will be--offered on MHS Express include Jim Ragsdale, Rhoda Gilman, Philip J. Anderson, and Richard Moe.
The books are available through kindle, nook, kobo and iTunes, and so far the prices range from 99 cents to $1.99.
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