Staff Directory 6370432

Laurie Hertzel

Senior Editor | Books
Phone: 612-673-7302

Laurie Hertzel has worked at the Star Tribune for more than two decades as an editor and writer. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Minnesota Monthly magazine and at the Duluth News-Tribune.


Hertzel grew up in Duluth, earned an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., has written two books, and currently serves as the autobiography chairman of the National Book Critics Circle board of directors.
Recent content from Laurie Hertzel
Tina Brown

Review: 'The Palace Papers,' by Tina Brown

Don't Miss
Picture books  with a message

Picture books with a message

New picture books for children raise consciousness, teach about social justice and celebrate nature.
A staggering pile of books to be read.

Bookmark: The importance of staggering books

It's important to have more than one book going at a time — just like it's important to have more than one dog.
Review: 'One Night on the Island,' by Josie Silver

Review: 'One Night on the Island,' by Josie Silver

Books in brief
James McBride, this year’s winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor

Bookmark: Humor, the necessary ingredient

Full, rich and, yes, funny characters can give light and air to a big serious novel.
Mike Wohnoutka and David LaRochelle

Diane Wilson, Douglas Kearney among 2022 Minnesota Book Award winners

Nine authors, an illustrator and a book artist went home Tuesday night with awards.
Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s, before the fire.

Bookmark: The return of the Uncles and other good news

As Indie Bookstore Day approaches, Milkweed Books, Storied Owl and Uncle Hugo's to reopen; SubText nears 10-year milestone.
Michelle Huneven

Review: 'Search,' by Michelle Huneven

FICTION: A group of idealistic Unitarians search for a new minister and find that they agree on very little.
Meredith May_

Review: 'Loving Edie,' by Meredith May

Books in brief
The cover is gone and the inside pages are ripped and scribbled on, but my copy of “Beloved Tales” is beloved and I will keep it forever.

Why do we keep worn-out books?

Bookmark: Well worn and falling apart, some books are too precious to replace.
Mount Brandon presented a rainy challenge on the last day of hiking along the Dingle Way in southwestern Ireland, but the rewards were considerable.

From mountains to the sea, Ireland's Dingle Way makes one hiker feel 'wonderfully alive'

The rugged landscape of southwest Ireland touched something deep inside this hiker, drawing her back again and again.
Don't miss: 'What I Was Afraid Of,' by Eric Hanson

Don't miss: 'What I Was Afraid Of,' by Eric Hanson

Don't miss
Review: 'The No-Show,' by Beth O'Leary

Review: 'The No-Show,' by Beth O'Leary

Books in brief
Garrison Keillor

Review: Keillor veers between reality, fantasy and revenge in 'Boom Town: A Lake Wobegon Novel'

FICTION: Garrison Keillor's new novel is about a man named Garrison Keillor who returns to Lake Wobegon and romanticizes his youth.
Clare Gogerty

Don't Miss: 'Fifty Things to Do in the Urban Wild,' by Clare Gogerty

Don't miss
Tommy Orange

Don't Miss: Write Like Us writers series

Don't Miss
Fiona McCrae

Retiring Graywolf Press publisher Fiona McCrae wins Kay Sexton Award

The longtime publisher of Graywolf Press will be honored in April at the Minnesota Book Awards.
Brian Farrey

One Book One Minnesota picks Brian Farrey novel

The newest book to be part of the statewide book club is "The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse."
Gregory Maguire

Don't Miss: 'Cress Watercress' by Gregory Maguire, illustrated by David Litchfield

A charming fable of a rabbit family and its friends — and enemies.
Essay: The great Duluth winter mystery of 1962

Essay: The great Duluth winter mystery of 1962

A clanking furnace, frigid weather and a missing butter knife made for a memorable Minnesota winter.
Parliament cookies.

Bookmark: Readers revisit the slow read — and sleuth cookie recipes, too

Even when reading slowly, sometimes you race through books. And sometimes you get cookies.
Anne Tyler

Review: 'French Braid,' by Anne Tyler

FICTION: In her 24th novel, Anne Tyler captures the avoidances and silences of family life.
Peter Swanson

Review: 'Nine Lives,' by Peter Swanson

Books in brief
Anne Griffin

Review: 'Listening Still,' by Anne Griffin

Don't Miss: What happens in a life when you are afraid to make choices that might hurt those who count on you.
Bill Meissner

Bill Meissner to launch books at M&Q

Don't miss: 'Circling Toward Home'
Monte Bute and some of his collection.

Bookmark: Readers keep books for joy, for sentiment

Some, however, don't keep books at all.
Lynda Barry

Review: 'Come Over, Come Over,' by Lynda Barry

Books in brief
Laurie Zaleski photo by Amanda Werner

Review: 'Funny Farm,' by Laurie Zaleski

Don't miss
A tithonia blossom, also known as Mexican sunflower, from the Hertzel yard.

Bookmark: Reading about other people's gardens tides us over until we can plant our own

Three books that remind us there is green under all this snow.
Don't miss: 'Voices From Pejuhutazizi,' by Teresa Peterson and Walter LaBatte Jr.

Don't miss: 'Voices From Pejuhutazizi,' by Teresa Peterson and Walter LaBatte Jr.

Don't miss: 'Voices From Pejuhutazizi,' by Teresa Peterson and Walter LaBatte Jr.Dakota storytellers, Teresa Peterson writes, are "loved and respected," seen as keepers of culture,…
Andrea Gilats

Don't Miss: 'After Effects,' by Andrea Gilats

Don't Miss
Elizabeth Weiss

Review: 'The Sisters Sweet,' by Elizabeth Weiss

When a Vaudeville twins act is broken up, the remaining girl must figure out how to move on.
Jason Mott

Club Book will present National Book Award winner Jason Mott and 8 other writers

The livestream series begins this month with "Hamnet" author Maggie O'Farrell.
Laurie Hertzel: Banning books like 'Maus' is the work of bigots

Laurie Hertzel: Banning books like 'Maus' is the work of bigots

It's no coincidence that banned books are often written by people who have been persecuted and marginalized.
Writer Anne Ursu, whose book “The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy” was announced Saturday as a finalist in Middle Grade Literature in the Minne

Finalists announced for Minnesota Book Awards

Mostly first-time nominees on this year's list; awards ceremony will be in-person this spring.
This 1950 Modern Library edition of “Vanity Fair” contains Thackeray’s own wood engraving illustrations.

Bookmark: Rediscovering the joy of the 'Slow Read'

If you're planning to read a book, who cares how long it takes to read it? Who's keeping score?
Sequoia Nagamatsu

Literary Rocket Man

Minneapolis writer's buzzy debut novel tackles climate change, plague and the salvation of outer space.
Sara Freeman

Review: 'Tides,' by Sara Freeman

Books in brief
Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz was the cousin of Minnesota’s former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz. (photo courtesy Leo Baeck Institute)

His cousin's long-lost book was a poignant surprise for Minn.'s former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz

Ulrich Boschwitz wrote his novel about a German Jew on the run in the days after Kristallnacht.
Crowded shelves in the Hertzel house.

Bookmark: Sometimes we keep books so we can give them away

Why, I ask myself, do I have such an absurd number of books?
Don't miss: 'The Unfamiliar Garden' by Benjamin Percy

Don't miss: 'The Unfamiliar Garden' by Benjamin Percy

Don't miss
The Rock Bottom Remainders — including literary giants Stephen King, Amy Tan, Dave Barry and other writers — kicked off the Wordplay Festival Frid

The Loft Literary Center to delay Wordplay

Annual writers festival will take 2022 off, reconvene in 2023.
Want a low-stress new year’s resolution? Start by vowing to know what day it is.

Want to make a New Year's promise you can keep? Try these 11 Low Effort Resolutions

Need an emotional boost as we head into what could be another tough year? Make a resolution you know you can achieve.
Marlon James

Bookmark: 10 books to look forward to in 2022

These titles will publish in the first quarter of the year.
A 14th century book of hours from France displayed at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.

Bookmark: In praise of physical books

All kinds of books are good, but physical books can have a magical beauty.
A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss

Review: 'A Season for Second Chances,' by Jenny Bayliss

Books in brief
On Prozac, Angus stuck around with Rosie when we decorated our tree instead of hiding upstairs.

The Puppy Chronicles: Canine Prozac Nation

After a year on one anti-anxiety medication, we switched Angus to generic Prozac. It helps — some. But does it help enough?
Alan Cumming

Review: 'Baggage,' by Alan Cumming

Don't Miss
Holiday books: Picture books for children

Holiday books: Picture books for children

History, stories, laughter and a few tears in these spectacular picture books with Minnesota ties.
Holiday books: Nonfiction

Holiday books: Nonfiction

Histories, memoirs and biographies to give
Bookmark: Coffee table books for giving

Bookmark: Coffee table books for giving

Five lush books on nature, animals and "Little Women."
Arleta Little named executive director of the Loft Literary Center

Arleta Little named executive director of the Loft Literary Center

Former head of the McKnight Artist Fellowships will replace Britt Udesen, who left in May.
50+  essential books for your winter reading and holiday shopping lists

50+ essential books for your winter reading and holiday shopping lists

Page-turners that will make you laugh, cry, reflect and escape when the weather outside is frightening.
“Chronicle,” the award-winning art book by Cathy Ryan

Minneapolis printmaker Cathy Ryan wins Book Artist Award for her work about the pandemic

The printmaker will be honored in April at Minnesota Book Awards ceremony.
Robert Bly reads a poem from his book “The Night Abraham Called to the Stars” after winning the poetry award during the 2002 Minnesota Book Awards

Best-selling Minnesota author, poet Robert Bly dies at 94

He started out writing bucolic poems about rural Minnesota and became a best-selling author teaching men how to be in touch with their feelings. He was 94.
Kao Kalia Yang

Statewide book club highlights Kao Kalia Yang memoir

Yang will discuss 'The Song Poet' in a December event for the public.
Woodrow on the Bench by Jenna Blum

Don't Miss: 'Woodrow on the Bench,' by Jenna Blum

I'm not sure there is any experience more poignant than caring for an elderly pet in its final months; I'm not sure there's any creature…
Book clubs aren’t always perfect.

Bookmark: The contrary view of book clubs

So are book clubs paradise, or hell? In last week's column, I ran comments from readers who love their book clubs. Today I give you…
Fiona McCrae

Fiona McCrae, who turned Minnesota's Graywolf Press into a national force, is stepping down

Graywolf books have won the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, among other laurels.
Louise Erdich

The ghosts, past and present, that haunt renowned Minnesota novelist Louise Erdrich

Her new novel is a ghost story set in a Minneapolis bookstore very much like Erdrich's own.
Bring Warm Clothes by Peg Meier

Don't Miss: 40th anniversary of 'Bring Warm Clothes'

It's been 40 years since former Star Tribune reporter Peg Meier took a leave of absence from the newspaper, secured a grant and set…
Bookmark: Readers absolutely love their book clubs

Bookmark: Readers absolutely love their book clubs

A while back, I wrote a column in which I dithered about joining a book club. I belonged to a book club about 20…
William Kent Krueger outside his home in St. Paul. The stories he tells, mostly, are mysteries.

Bestselling St. Paul author William Kent Krueger doesn't claim to be a writer: 'I'm a storyteller'

The latest in his Cork O'Connor mystery series brings him to the Fitzgerald Theater Wednesday.
Breathe into the Ground

Bookmark: The Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop turns 10

We caught up with workshop founder Jen Bowen.
Tamara Shopsin

Review: 'LaserWriter II,' by Tamara Shopsin

Don't Miss
Anthony Horowitz Photo by Jon Cartwright

REVIEW: 'A Line to Kill,' by Anthony Horowitz

FICTION: A wealthy playboy is found murdered during a writers festival, and the line of suspects is long.
Bookstores are facing supply-chain issues and hope customers will shop early and preorder to ensure they get the books they want.

Bookmark: Order books now for holidays

Supply chain issues are delaying printing and shipping. Order early to ensure you get what you need.
DON'T MISS: 'The Electricity of Every Living Thing,' by Katherine May

DON'T MISS: 'The Electricity of Every Living Thing,' by Katherine May

Don't Miss: 'The Electricity of Every Living Thing,' by Katherine May
Gwen Westerman. CREDIT: Melanie Zacek

Meet Gwen Westerman, the new state poet laureate

First Native to hold role hopes to shine a spotlight on the state's many poets and encourage young people to write.
Angus started doing nosework by searching in one empty box and worked his way to more.

The Puppy Chronicles: The nose knows

A dog's nose is 100 million times more sensitive than yours. Sniffing games and nose work give those mighty snouts a great workout.
Kate DiCamillo is out with a new novel “The Beatryce Prophecy,”  LEDE story for fall preview. brian.peterson@startribune.com Minneapolis,  MN Tues

The lost manuscript of Kate DiCamillo

Her new book, "The Beatryce Prophecy," sprang from a rediscovered draft that she had abandoned after the death of her beloved mother.
Kate DiCamillo is out with a new novel, “The Beatryce Prophecy.”

Long-lost manuscript sparked a new book by famed Minneapolis author Kate DiCamillo

Her new book "The Beatryce Prophecy" sprang from a draft she started and then abandoned after the death of her beloved mother.
The Sentenceby Louise Erdrich

10 most anticipated, must-read books of the fall

'Harlem Shuffle'Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Colson Whitehead tells the story of a cash-strapped furniture salesman in 1960s Harlem who turns to shady ways to provide for…
“Lieutenant Dangerous” by Jeff Danziger

Review: 'Lieutenant Dangerous,' by Jeff Danziger

Lieutenant Dangerous: A Vietnam War MemoirBy Jeff Danziger. (Steerforth Press, 208 pages, $14.95.) There are moments of wry humor in "Lieutenant Dangerous," a memoir by…
Author Erik Larson will be interviewed as part of Rain Taxi's Twin Cities Book Festival. New York Times

Rain Taxi's Twin Cities Book Festival goes hybrid this fall

The annual Rain Taxi Twin Cities Book Festival usually takes place in October — and it will this year, as well. But get out your…