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.
"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.
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.
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)
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 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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