Mystery writer William Kent Krueger won his fifth Minnesota Book Award — tying the record set last year by novelist Louise Erdrich — and David LaRochelle won his second in a row on Saturday night at the annual gala event.
This year’s awards ceremony attracted a record 950 people and was held for the first time at the Historic Union Depot in St. Paul’s Lowertown.
Here are the winners:
Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books for Africa: David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka: “Moo!” published by Walker Books for Young Readers/Bloomsbury Children’s Books. LaRochelle, who was also a finalist for “How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans,” is a previous Minnesota Book Award winner and lives in White Bear Lake. Wohnoutka has illustrated books for Random House, Dutton Children’s Books, and more.
General Nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO: Jack El-Hai: “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of World War II,” published by PublicAffairs Books/Perseus Books Group. El-Hai won a previous Minnesota Book Award for “The Lobotomist.”
Genre Fiction, sponsored by Alerus Financial: William Kent Krueger: “Tamarack County,” published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. Krueger is the author of 12 previous Cork O’Connor mysteries. This is his fifth Minnesota Book Award.
Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by GovDelivery: Melanie Hoffert, “Prairie Silence,” published by Beacon Press. Hoffert holds an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University.
Minnesota, sponsored by MSR Architects: Kristin Makholm: “Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison,” published by University of Oklahoma Press. Makholm is executive director of the Minnesota Museum of American Art.
Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Education Minnesota: Ethan Rutherford, “The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories,” published by Ecco/HarperCollins. Rutherford holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, and The Best American Short Stories, and his book reviews run in the Star Tribune.
Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.: Matt Rasmussen, “Black Aperture,” published by Louisiana State University Press. Rasmussen teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College. His book was also a finalist for a National Book Award.
Young People’s Literature, sponsored by Sit Investment Associates: Carrie Mesrobian, “Sex & Violence,” published by Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publishing Group. Mesrobian teaches at the Loft Literary Center. This is her first book.
Also on Saturday night, Mark Vinz received the previously announced Kay Sexton Award, for his lifelong contributions to Minnesota literature, and Fred Hagstrom received the Book Artist Award.
And Gwen Westerman and Bruce White were awarded the biennial Hognander Minnesota History Award for “Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota,” published by Minnesota Historical Society Press.
There were 242 books nominated for awards this year, with 32 selected as finalists.
The Minnesota Book Awards is a project of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, with the St. Paul Public Library and the City of St. Paul.