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The finalists for the 21st annual Minnesota Book Awards, announced Saturday night, represent a wide range of Minnesota writers. Publishers as small as a one-man operation in Duluth as well as major New York publishers are represented, as are first-time nominees and past winners.
The finalists -- four each in eight categories -- were chosen by 24 judges from around the state. They are:
Children's literature: "My Friend, the Starfinder" (Atheneum) by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Stephen Gammel; "Henry's Amazing Imagination" (Viking/Penguin) by Nancy Carlson; "The House in the Night," (Houghton Mifflin) by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes; "Monkey with a Tool Belt" (Carolrhoda Books) by Chris Monroe.
General nonfiction: "The Compassionate Carnivore" (Da Capo Press) by Catherine Friend; "A Hard-Water World" (Minnesota Historical Society Press) by Greg Breining, photography by Layne Kennedy; "Potluck Paradise" (Minnesota Historical Society Press) by Rae Katherine Eighmey and Debbie Miller; "You Have Been Kind Enough to Assist Me," (North Dakota State University) by Terry Shoptaugh.
Genre fiction: "A Carrion Death" (HarperCollins) by Michael Stanley; "Phantom Prey" (Putnam) by John Sandford; "Red Knife" (Atria Books) by William Kent Krueger; "Stalking Susan" (Doubleday) by Julie Kramer.
Memoir & creative nonfiction: "The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir" (Coffee House Press) by Kao Kalia Yang; "Madness: A Bipolar Life" (Houghton Mifflin) by Marya Hornbacher; "Renaming the Earth: Personal Essays" (University of Arizona Press) by Ray Gonzalez; "Swallow the Ocean" (Counterpoint) by Laura M. Flynn.
Minnesota: "Crossing the Canal: An Illustrated History of Duluth's Aerial Bridge" (X-communication) by Tony Dierckins; "Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota" by Barbara W. Sommer; "Landscapes of Minnesota: A Geography" by John Fraser Hart and Susy Svatek Ziegler; "Minnesota on the Map: A Historical Atlas" by David A. Lanegran (all published by Minnesota Historical Society Press).
Novel and short story: "Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire" (Coffee House Press) by David Mura; "The Plague of Doves" (HarperCollins) by Louise Erdrich; "Shelter Half" (Holy Cow! Press) by Carol Bly; "The Soul Thief" (Pantheon Books) by Charles Baxter.
Poetry: "Milk and Tides" (Nodin Press) by Margaret Hasse; "National Monuments" (Michigan State University Press) by Heid E. Erdrich; "The Sound of It" (New Rivers Press) by Tim Nolan; "Yellowrocket" (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.) by Todd Boss.
Young people's literature: "Black Box" (Delacorte) by Julie Schumacher; "Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing)" (Scholastic) by Alison McGhee; "Saturday Night Dirt: A Motor Novel" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Will Weaver; "Twelve Long Months" (Scholastic Press) by Brian Malloy.
Laurie Hertzel, the Star Tribune's books editor, is at 612-673-7302.