The new season of Talking Volumes will bring in a couple of local favorites, a movie star, a feminist commentator and the venerable creator of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
Hip-hop artist Dessa will discuss her new memoir Sept. 20 to open the series, a joint production of the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio that brings writers for conversations at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. “My Own Devices,” being published by Dutton two days before her appearance, is an account of the Twin Cities native’s life on the road and her determination to make a name for herself. In addition to performing solo and with the group Doomtree, Dessa has published two collections of poetry and essays.
On Oct. 3, Leif Enger will discuss his first novel in a decade, “Virgil Wander,” set along the shores of Lake Superior. Enger is the author of “Peace Like a River” and “So Brave, Young, and Handsome,” both highly acclaimed novels and national bestsellers. “Peace Like a River” was also chosen for the inaugural World Book Night, a short-lived annual event where books were given away on street corners across the country. Enger grew up in Minnesota, where he still lives.
Rebecca Traister, a New York journalist and National Magazine Award finalist who specializes in women’s issues, will be in town on Oct. 17. Traister’s last book, “All the Single Ladies,” was about the rising power and influence of single women. Her new book, “Good and Mad,” tracks the history of female anger as political fuel — from suffragettes agitating for the vote to the current #MeToo movement.
Actress Sally Field will be at the Fitz on Oct. 23. Field’s career started in the television shows “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun” and has continued for 50 years, with Oscar-winning roles in “Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart,” and a recent nomination for “Lincoln.” In her memoir, “In Pieces,” she writes about growing up lonely, learning her craft and navigating a complicated relationship with her mother.
The season will wind up Nov. 14 with Alexander McCall Smith, beloved author of a number of bestselling series. Smith, who lives in Scotland, says that he writes four, sometimes five, books a year. His newest, “The Colors of All the Cattle,” is the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.
All shows are at 7 p.m. Hosted by MPR’s Kerri Miller, Talking Volumes has hosted nearly 100 celebrated writers over the years — including Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Robert Bly, Joan Didion, Amy Tan, Colson Whitehead and Barbara Kingsolver.
Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune’s senior editor for books.