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Continued: Two Coffee House Press authors write novella based on Edward Hopper painting at Walker

  • Article by: LAURIE HERTZEL , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 24, 2014 - 5:13 PM

Thinking outside the book

The collaboration fit well with Coffee House Press’ emerging “Books in Action” initiative, which has launched a series of projects meant to think beyond the pages of a traditional book.

Through earlier ventures with Walker Open Field, and through other innovations — giving poets residencies in libraries, or launching “Ring Ring Poetry,” a poems-by-telephone project — Coffee House searches out new ways for writers and readers to interact.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is find new audiences for our writers and their work,” Fischbach said. “At the same time, we’re reacting to audience willingness and eagerness to experience literature in ways that are more than just by reading a book.” The novella, he said, does both of those things, bringing together visual art and literary art.

Said Bernheimer, “I remember as a young girl staring and staring at paintings I loved, developing what seemed to me to be entirely real relationships with not only the character but the places, even the artists.

“I think our novella could be experienced along those lines by the reader — just as a painting welcomes the viewer into its space, so too can a novel.”


A new installment of “Office at Night” will appear every weekday from March 31 through May 2 at


Laurie Hertzel • 612-673-7302 On Twitter @StribBooks


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  • Edward Hopper (1882-1967) Office at Night, 1940 Oil on canvas, 22 3/16 x 25 1/8 in. (56.4 x 63.8 cm) Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Gift of the T.B. Walker Foundation, Gilbert M. Walker Fund

  • Bernheimer

  • Hunt

  • Coffee House publisher Chris Fischbach said of the “Office at Night” novella, written by two of his authors: “It’s unexpected. … It’s not your traditional piece of fiction.”

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