Minneapolis writer Louise Erdrich has been named a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award for her novel “LaRose,” which is also in the running for a National Book Critics Circle award. She last won a Minnesota Book Award — her fifth — in 2013 for “The Round House.”
The finalists, announced Saturday also include two-time winner Kao Kalia Yang (also a finalist for an NBCC award), Caren Stelson (whose book, “Sachiko,” was longlisted for a 2016 National Book Award), Benjamin Percy, Peter Geye and David Housewright.
For the first time, two self-published authors were among the finalists. Notably missing from the lineup were Kate DiCamillo’s “Raymie Nightingale,” also longlisted for a National Book Award, and Kelly Barnhill, whose middle-grade novel “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” just won the Newbery Award.
The titles were chosen by 27 judges from around the state who met Saturday in the Twin Cities. The finalists:
Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books for Africa:
“Tell Me a Tattoo Story,” by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (Chronicle Books); “This Is NOT A Cat!” by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka (Sterling Children’s Books); “Worm Loves Worm,” by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato (Balzer + Bray), and “Yellow Time,” by Lauren Stringer (Beach Lane Books).
“Canoes: A Natural History in North America,” by Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims (University of Minnesota Press); “Designing Our Way to a Better World,” by Thomas Fisher (University of Minnesota Press); “Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction,” by Benjamin Percy (Graywolf Press), and “The War on Science,” by Shawn Otto (Milkweed Editions).
Genre Fiction, sponsored by Macalester College:
“The Born and the Made,” by Robert Spande (self-published); “The Heavens May Fall,” by Allen Eskens (Seventh Street Books); “Rise of the Spring Tide,” by James Stitt (self-published), and “Stealing the Countess,” by David Housewright (Minotaur Books).
Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by Faegre Baker Daniels:
“I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland,” by Michelle Leon (Minnesota Historical Society Press); “The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father,” by Kao Kalia Yang (Metropolitan Books); “This Is Where I Am: A Memoir,” by Zeke Caligiuri (University of Minnesota Press), and “The Thunder Before the Storm: The Autobiography of Clyde Bellecourt,” by Clyde Bellecourt, as told to Jon Lurie (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
Middle Grade Literature, sponsored by Education Minnesota:
“Little Cat’s Luck,” by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster); “Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story,” by Caren Stelson (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group); “The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse,” by Brian Farrey (Algonquin Young Readers/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), and “Sticks & Stones,” by Abby Cooper (Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan).
Minnesota Nonfiction, sponsored by St. Mary’s University of Minnesota:
“The Big Marsh: The Story of a Lost Landscape,” by Cheri Register (Minnesota Historical Society Press); “The Ford Century in Minnesota,” by Brian McMahon (University of Minnesota Press); “Richard F. Lack: Catalogue Raisonné 1943-1998,” by Gary B. Christensen, biography by Stephen A. Gjertson (Afton Historical Society Press), and “Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation,” by Virginia M. Wright-Peterson (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Fitzgerald in St. Paul:
“The Annie Year,” by Stephanie Wilbur Ash (Unnamed Press); “LaRose,” by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins); “Wintering,” by Peter Geye (Alfred A. Knopf), and “Do Not Find Me,” by Kathleen Novak (The Permanent Press).
Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management Inc.:
“May Day,” by Gretchen Marquette (Graywolf Press); “Tula,” by Chris Santiago (Milkweed Editions); “Unbearable Splendor,” by Sun Yung Shin (Coffee House Press), and “Yes Thorn,” by Amy Munson (Tupelo Press).
Young Adult Literature, sponsored by Brainfuse:
“Assassin’s Heart,” by Sarah Ahiers (HarperTeen); “LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality,” by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Twenty-First Century Books); “The Memory Book,” by Lara Avery (Little, Brown and Company), and “Original Fake,” by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, art by E. Eero Johnson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons).
The winners will be announced at the 29th Minnesota Book Awards gala on April 8 at the Hotel InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront. Also to be honored that night will be Steven McCarthy, winner of this year’s Minnesota Book Artist Award, and the winner of the Kay Sexton Award, which will be announced Feb. 27. The Minnesota Book Awards are a program of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, with presenting sponsor Education Minnesota.