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On Books

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

Coffee House Press is a finalist for Kirkus Prizes in so many ways

Valeria Luiselli, photo by Devin Yalkin, New York Times

Valeria Luiselli, photo by Devin Yalkin, New York Times.

The finalists for the prestigious Kirkus Prize were announced today, and a memoir published by the Minneapolis publisher Coffee House Press is among the nonfiction finalists. "When Death Takes Something From You, Give it Back," by Naja Marie Aidt, translated by Denise Newman, is also long-listed for a National Book Award. 

Other finalists include a memoir by Saeed Jones, who is coming to town in October for Talking Volumes. Jones’ first book, "Prelude to Bruise," a collection of poetry, was published by Coffee House Press.

Fiction finalists include Valeria Luiselli’s novel, “Lost Children Archive.” Her previous books, “Tell Me How it Ends” and “The Story of My Teeth” were published by Coffee House Press and she is currently a contributing editor for the press.

Any book published in 2019 that earned a star from a Kirkus review is eligible for the awards, which are presented in three categories. Here’s the full list of finalists. The winners will be announced Oct. 24 and will receive $50,000.


Cantoras, by Carolina De Robertis

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead


Go Ahead in the Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib

When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back, by Naja Marie Aidt, translated by Denise Newman (published by Coffee House Press)

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones (review forthcoming Oct. 6.)

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder


Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft

Genesis Begins Again, by Alicia D. Williams

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

The Other Side by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Club Book announces fall schedule, with Nora McInerny, Thrity Umrigar and more

Robert Muller

Thrity Umrigar. Photo by Robert Muller.

Yes, fall is in the air, but that’s a good thing because that means the fall season of Club Book is about to begin. Sponsored by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency, the free writers series begins Sept. 17 and runs through Nov. 12 at various libraries across the Twin Cities.

Here’s the lineup:

Nora McInerny, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17, Chanhassen Public Library, 7711 Kerber Blvd..

Twin Cities memoirist McInerny got her start as a blogger, writing about her husband’s brain tumor, her miscarriage and the death of her father — with grief and humor. Her first book, “It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)” came out in 2016, followed by “No Happy Endings” and “The Hot Young Widows Club,” both published this year.

Thrity Umrigar, 7 p.m. Sept. 26, Plymouth Public Library, 15700 36th Av. N.

Umrigar, the author of “The Space Between Us,” has been documenting the lives of Indian Americans for more than 10 years. Her most recent novel, “The Secrets Between Us,” returns to the characters of her first book.

J.A. Jance, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8, R.H. Stafford Library, 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury.

Jance is the author of nearly 70 novels, including four mystery series, including those featuring news anchor turned sleuth Ali Reynolds, sheriff Joanna Brady, and the Walker Family of Arizona. Her latest mystery, “Sins of the Fathers,” will be published in September.

Dacre Stoker, 7 p.m. Oct. 10, Anoka County Library, 711 County Road 10 NE., Blaine.

Stoker is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker, author of “Dracula.” In 2009, Dacre wrote a sequel to his great-uncle’s novel called “Dracula: The Undead,” and in 2017 he wrote a prequel, “Dracul,” which will be released in paperback this fall.

Nicola Yoon, 7 p.m. Oct. 17, Ramsey County Library, 2180 N. Hamline Av., Roseville.

Yoon’s bestselling young-adult novel, “Everything, Everything,” was adapted for film by Warner Brothers. Her most recent book is “The Sun Is Also a Star,” which was on the bestseller lists for nearly a year and was named a finalist for a National Book Award.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23, Dakota County Library, 199 E. Wentworth Av., West St. Paul.

Contreras’ 2018 novel, “Fruit of the Drunken Tree,” was based on the author’s experiences growing up in Colombia. Contreras has also written for USA Today, BuzzFeed and other outlets.

Brandon Hobson, 7 p.m. Oct. 24, Scott County Library, 16210 Eagle Creek Av. SE., Prior Lake.

Hobson, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the author of “Where the Dead Sit Talking,” a finalist for a National Book Award.

Lara Prescott, 7 p.m. Nov. 12, St. Paul Public Library, 2245 Como Av., St. Paul.

Prescott’s debut novel, “The Secrets We Kept,” is set in Russia and was just published this month. It has already been optioned for film and is being translated into 28 languages.