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Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996.

Author Marlon James of Macalester College named one of Time's 100 most influential people

Marlon James. Photo by Mark Seliger.

The year isn't even half over, but now we know who the most influential people of 2019 are, and we know that Marlon James is one of them. We sort of already knew that about James---he's everywhere (in February he was interviewed by Louise Erdrich for Interview magazine), his books get rave reviews and break new ground, and he's mouthy and smart and provocative as heck on social media.

It was with a rather humble "SO THIS HAPPENED" that James let it be known on Facebook today that Time magazine had named him one of the 100 most influential people of the year. And the blurb about him was written by none other than novelist Salman Rushdie, himself rather influential.
 
James lives part-time in St. Paul and teaches at Macalester College, where he is writer-in-residence. He was born in Jamaica and is the author of "The Book of Night Women," winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; "A Brief History of Seven Killings," winner of the Man Booker Prize, and "Black Leopard, Red Wolf," already being made into a movie. About that book, Rushdie writes,it is  "highly original, its language surging with power, its imagination all-encompassing. Marlon is a writer who must be read."
 
We could have told you that.
 
 
 
 

Minneapolis publisher Milkweed Editions a finalist for Pulitzer -- twice

Elizabeth Rush. Photo by Stephanie Alvarez EwensElizabeth Rush. Photo by Stephanie Alvarez Ewens.

It's a remarkable and heady thing for a publisher, to have a book nominated as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. But try two books.

Minneapolis publisher Milkweed Editions had two titles listed as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize yesterday. "Rising," by Elizabeth Rush, was a finalist in nonfiction, and "feeld," by Jos Charles, a finalist in poetry. Charles' book was also longlisted for a National Book Award and was named a best poetry book of 2018 by several publications, including the New Yorker magazine.
 
Rush's book, "Rising," brings "a writer's sensibility" to writing about the environment and climate change, the Star Tribune said in its review. It, too, was named a best book of 2018 by a number of publications, including the Guardian.
 
Milkweed Editions was founded in 1980 and focuses primarily on a wide range of books--essays, poetry, fiction and nonfiction--that revolve around the natural world.
 
Milkweed is one of three nonprofit literary presses in the Twin Cities that have seen skyrocketing fame and major awards in recent years. "Indecency" by Justin Phillip Reed, won the 2018 National Book Award for Poetry, handing Coffee House Press its first such award. And "Milkman," by Anna Burns, published in the U.S. by Minneapolis' Graywolf Press, won the National Book Critics Circle award this year for fiction (as well as the Man Booker Prize).
 
 
 

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