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

Individual tickets for Pen Pals series go on sale next week

Colson Whitehead. Photo by Sunny Shokrae, New York Times.

Colson Whitehead. Photo by Sunny Shokrae, New York Times.

If you haven't gotten your season tickets yet to the Pen Pals Lecture Series, now's the time to pick and choose. Individual tickets go on sale next Tuesday, Aug. 1.  But how the heck will you choose? Look at the lineup: Jennifer Egan. Jesmyn Ward. Colson Whitehead. Alan Alda. Dan Rather.

Individual tickets are $50 for the main floor, $40 for the balcony, and are $5 cheaper if you are a member of Friends of the Hennepin County Library.  All events take place at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Main Street, Hopkins, and each Thursday evening event is followed by a Friday morning event..
Here's the schedule:
Alan Alda, Sept. 26, 7 p.m., and Sept. 27, 11 a.m. Alda will speak about his new book, "If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?" and each ticket includes a copy of the book.
Jennifer Egan, Oct. 26 7 p.m. and Oct 27, 11 a.m.  Egan is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Visit From the Goon Squad." Her new book, "Manhattan Beach," will be out in October.
Dan Rather, Nov. 30, 7 p.m., and Dec. 1, 11 a.m. The longtime television news reporter now maintains the News and Guts news website. His new book, "What Unites Us," will be included with a ticket.
Colson Whitehead, Feb. 1, 7 p.m. and Feb. 2, 11 a.m. Whitehead's novel, "The Underground Railroad," won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the Carnegie Medal for Fiction.
Jesmyn Ward, May 3, 7 p.m., and May 4, 11 a.m.  Ward is the author of "Salvage the Bones," which won the National Book Award.  Her new book, "Sing, Unburied, Sing," will be published in September.

More accolades for Twin Cities writer Lesley Nneka Arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah, photo by Star Tribune photographer Glen Stubbe

Lesley Nneka Arimah, photo by Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune

Twin Cities writer Lesley Nneka Arimah published her first story collection, "What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky," in April, and the accolades have pretty much not stopped since. The book, which was published by Riverhead, has been widely praised. Her story, "Glory," won an O. Henry prize in May, and now the full collection has been longlisted for a Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize. 

(A Graywolf Press book, "The Impossible Fairy Tale," by Han Yujoo, is also on the list.)

Arimah, who graduated from the Minnesota State University-Mankato with an MFA, will teach this fall at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and on Sept. 14 will speak as part of the U's annual fall writers series.  

Here is the longlist for the Brooklyn Literary Prize, with links to reviews, when available. The shortlist will be announced in September, with the winners announced in October.


Hostage by Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly)

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi (Picador)

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday)

Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan Books)

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson (Plume)

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein(Liveright Publishing)

Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair by Sarah Schulman(Arsenal Pulp Press)


What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead Books)

Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead Books)

The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel by Eimear McBride (Hogarth)

IRL by Tommy Pico (Birds, LLC)

Black Wave by Michelle Tea (Feminist Press)

Reputations: A Novel by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Riverhead Books, translated by Anne McLean)

The Book of Joan: A Novel by Lidia Yuknavitch (Harper)

The Impossible Fairy Tale by Han Yujoo (Graywolf Press, trans. by Janet Hong)

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