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Readers and writers, take note!

Posted byregana on 03 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: Event, Fiction, MHS press

AWP-photo-by-Robb-CohenBook-loving Minnesotans, here’s a word to the wise and a great opportunity: AWP—the Association of Writers and Writing Programs—is holding its annual meeting at the Convention Center in Minneapolis next week, April 9-11. This is a Very Big Deal: more than 12,000 attendees, 1,900 presenters, 550 sessions, scores of free offsite events, and—best of all—a book fair with 700 publishers and literary organizations strutting their stuff. You can register for a day pass here.

AWP is an overwhelming experience, with so many delicious options. Thousands of energetic teachers and writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are gathered to talk about what we’re doing, where we’ve been, where we’re going with books and literature. The program is tantalizing, and you can’t be everywhere at once. Laura I. Miller, a seasoned attendee, has compiled a helpful list of tips for doing AWP.  Me? I often retreat to our book table, where every person stopping by has a good story.

At the MNHS Press exhibit, we’re proudly showing off books by our fine authors. But my colleagues and I are also on a mission—a treasure hunt for books-to-be on the history and culture of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. We’re searching for manuscripts with strong Midwestern themes and a strong sense of place: Well-researched and well-written stories that use the best tools of narrative journalism to tell history for general audiences. Narrative nonfiction on food, adventure and travel, true crime, war and conflict, Native American studies, environment and the land, popular culture, and women’s and ethnic histories.  Good books to help people live richer lives in Minnesota and beyond.

Thursday, April 9 from 10:00-11:30 we’re hosting a signing with Bruce Joshua Miller and Ned Stuckey-French, editor and contributor to Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research. Contributors to Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota will be dropping by to sign on Saturday morning. Stop by to say hello and get a copy!

MNHS press director, Pam McClanahan, editors Shannon Pennefeather and Josh Leventhal, and sales manager Jerry Bilek and I look forward to seeing you at Booth 412—and hearing what you’re writing about.

Ann Regan, MNHS Editor-in-Chief

Spring 2014 Titles

Posted byAlison Aten on 10 Jan 2014 | Tagged as: Authors, Children, Cooking, Fiction, Food, History, Literary, MHS press, Native American, Scandinavian Studies, Travel

Augie\'s Secrets by Neal Karlen The Brides of Midsummer When I Was a Child Her Honor Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge Curiosity\'s Cats

Conflicted Mission Hungry Johnny Toys of the \'50s, \'60s, and \'70s Scoop Smitten with Squash

Minnesota Historical Society Press Spring 2014 Titles

Augie’s Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip (Paperback, February 2014)
Neal Karlen

The Brides of Midsummer (First English Translation, February 2014)
Vilhelm Moberg

When I Was a Child: An Autobiographical Novel (February 2014)
Vilhelm Moberg

Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement (March 2014)
Lori Sturdevant

Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge (April 2014)
Carolyn Ruff

Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research (April 2014)
Edited by Bruce Joshua Miller

Conflicted Mission: Faith, Disputes, and Deception on the Dakota Frontier (April 2014)
Linda M. Clemmons

Hungry Johnny (May 2014)
Cheryl Minnema, Illustrations by Wesley Ballinger

Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s (May 2014)
Kate Roberts and Adam Scher

Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop (May 2014)
Jeff Miller

Smitten with Squash (July 2014)
Amanda Paa

Living Here, Loving Minnesota with Rae Katherine Eighmey

Posted byAlison Aten on 18 Oct 2012 | Tagged as: Authors, Fiction

Rae Katherine Eighmey pounding hominyRae Eighmey is the author of several books published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, including Food Will Win the War and Potluck Paradise (coauthored with Debbie Miller). She is currently working on a book about pioneering midwestern foodways. She lives with her husband in St. Paul.

What is a typical weekend for you?

Weekends and weekdays are pretty much the same if I’m actively researching, writing, or testing recipes. The piles of files around my desk or in the kitchen take on lives of their own, and they need to be attended to. When I have projects simply under thoughtful development, then the weekends are an opportunity to ponder as I putz in the garden, arrange and rearrange bookshelves, fold laundry, or watch the snow fall. Sometimes the Muse arrives. Sometimes she doesn’t. The very nice thing about living in Minnesota is that the time is generally spent pleasantly either way.

What/where do you eat on weekends? What’s a typical Sunday breakfast at your house?

As I write this, I’m coming to the conclusion that my husband and I really are homebodies. We seldom eat out. We’re not big breakfast eaters, but sometimes on cold winter mornings I’ll pull out the waffle iron and make cornmeal and rice waffles. I discovered the recipe when doing research on World War I food conservation. They are great for dinner, too, under creamed chicken.

What’s your weekend reading like?

I tend to let magazines accumulate, so weekends are a good time to sort through them while the football games play on TV. We’ve been associated with several universities, so we have a lot of teams to cheer—Iowa, Iowa State, University of Alabama, and, last but not least, go you Gophers! When we lived in New Jersey, the “arts” half of The New York Times was delivered to our door on Saturday.  Now it arrives in one gigantic glump. Sometimes I don’t get through it until the following Saturday. Books fall into my lap as well. I must confess to taking guilty pleasure in the adventures of Lucas Davenport as he cruises in his Porsche through my neighborhood, thanks to the pen of John Sandford.

What is your top Minnesota getaway?

Our Minnesota getaways vary with the seasons. Now that it is fall, there’s nothing we enjoy more than a drive down along the Mississippi River into apple country. Out of St. Paul and on to Highway 62 past Red Wing, the first of the great river towns on the Mississippi. On through Lake City, Wabasha, and Winona as the road becomes a designated scenic highway with views of the river and high bluffs filled with fall-blazing trees at every gentle turn. We’ll stop for apples and more at roadside stands.

Apple press

Enjoy this autumnal recipe from Rae:

Amazing Apple Preserves

2 cups grated McIntosh apples (grated on the large side of a box grater)

2 cups sugar

Mix apples and sugar and let stand for 2 hours or longer. Stir from time to time until sugar is dissolved. Put apples into a large saucepan, at least 3 quarts. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 2 pints.

NOTE: Other varieties of apples may work just fine, but I have only tested this with the McIntosh.

Fireside Reading Series at Hamline Midway Library

Posted byAlison Aten on 10 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: Asian American, Event, Fiction, Literary, MHS press, Native American, Scandinavian Studies

Fireside Reading SeriesTomorrow night begins the eighteenth annual Fireside Reading Series hosted by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library at the Hamline Midway Library. The series features six weeks of readings by acclaimed Minnesota authors.

The events kick off with historian Larry Millet and the latest in his renowned mystery series, The Magic Bullet: A Locked Room Mystery Featuring Shadwell Rafferty and Sherlock Holmes, and conclude on February 18 with Diane Wilson, author of Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life.


Posted byAlison Aten on 25 Oct 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, Event, Fiction, History, MHS press

phpSd8czNTis the season for ghosts and goblins, and our fair state has no shortage of boogeymen.

MinnPost’s Max Sparber ponders the ghosts of the Washington Avenue Bridge and the “Supernatural Minnesota” series by Thomas M. Disch, recently reprinted by the University of Minnesota Press. The Businessman is the first book in the series.

Michael Norman, author of five nationally popular collections of ghost tales, interviewed local storytellers and combed newspapers to document legends involving supernatural and strange occurrences. Following old and fresh leads, he gathered stories from all over the state in The Nearly Departed: Minnesota Ghost Stories & Legends. (Check out our excerpts on the MIA and The Lutefisk Ghost.)

The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations by Chad Lewis offers info on where to sleep in a haunted bed-and-breakfast or have a drink in a haunted pub.

You can explore more of Minnesota’s haunted history this week at a variety of spooky events hosted by the Minnesota Historical Society:

Tonight and tomorrow at the Mill City Museum’s The Minneapolis Horror: Tales from the Night Shift you can learn about the horrific disasters that have befallen the mill and its workers over the years.

Shadows and Spirits of the State Capitol, Thursday through Saturday, offers visitors a chance to see historical “spirits” who tell stories of the capitol’s early history.

Step inside the rustic barn at the Oliver Kelley Farm on Saturday for a Reader’s Theatre performance of Washington Irving’s horror classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Or listen to dramatic readings of Victorian Ghost Stories in the dimly lit James J. Hill House parlor on Sunday night.

Happy Haunting!

We’re Back!

Posted byAlison Aten on 26 Jul 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, Event, Fiction, History, Interview, Literary, MHS Author in the News, Native American

We are delighted to be back in our offices after a nearly three-week Minnesota state government shutdown!

As a segue into our regularly scheduled Tuesday and Thursday posts, here is a mini-roundup of some recent MHS Press/Borealis Books news:

The hot weather did not deter some of us from attending the taping of a future episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern at the VFW in Minneapolis’s Uptown area. Ann Burckhardt, author of Hot Dish Heaven, was the celebrity judge for the show’s hot dish contest. And what was for dessert? Why, entries for the best Jello salad, of course. We won’t reveal the winners. Let’s just say there were some creative entries!

Ann Burckhardt and Andrew Zimmern

Johnny Michaels, bar manager at La Belle Vie, was recently featured on Esquire’s Eat Like a Man blog and consulted by Minnesota Monthly as to whether beer on the rocks is permissible. Look for North Star Cocktails by Johnny Michaels and the North Star Bartenders Guild this November.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 27) Anton Treuer will appear on the nationally syndicated radio program Native America Calling. The Assassination of Hole in the Day, now out in paperback, is the show’s Book of the Month selection.

The City of St. Paul sponsors a bimonthly StoryWalk to “walk, read, learn, and have fun.” Last Sunday our book Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet, written by David LaRochelle and with photographs by Joe Rossi, was featured at Lake Phalen.

St. Paul StoryWalk

Borealis Books author Sarah Stonich has been hitting the road to share her newest book, Shelter, with readers around the state. She’ll be at Magers and Quinn in Minneapolis on Tuesday, August 9, at 7:30, along with Ellen Baker, author of I Gave My Heart to Know This.

And don’t forget to check out our Summer E-book sale!

Great author, great cause

Posted byregana on 29 Oct 2010 | Tagged as: Event, Fiction, Native American, Nonprofit

The CircleAward-winning First Nations author Joseph Boyden will be the featured guest at the annual fundraiser for The Circle on November 7. His first book, Three Day Road, is the story of two Cree men from northwestern Canada whose lives are forever changed by their experiences in the trench warfare of World War I. Called “A beautifully written and haunting story of survival and innocence shattered, of friendship, death, redemption and love of the land” by Isabel Allende, the book won the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Since 1980, The Circle, published in Minneapolis, has presented news from a Native American perspective to readers across the country. The event features hearty hors d’oeuvres (“delicious Native-inspired food that’s good for you”), a silent auction of Native art, and great conversation with interesting people. RSVP by November 1.

Michelle Hoover at Magers and Quinn

Posted byMary Poggione on 28 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Event, Fiction

Quickening book coverThis Sunday, August 1, at 4:00 pm, Michelle Hoover will be reading from and signing her new and much-lauded novel, The Quickening, at Magers and Quinn.

From the publisher, Other Press:

“Enidina Current and Mary Morrow live on neighboring farms in the flat, hard country of the upper Midwest during the early 1900s. This hardscrabble life comes easily to some, like Eddie, who has never wanted more than the land she works and the animals she raises on it with her husband, Frank. But for the deeply religious Mary, farming is an awkward living and at odds with her more cosmopolitan inclinations. Still, Mary creates a clean and orderly home life for her stormy husband, Jack, and her sons, while she adapts to the isolation of a rural town through the inspiration of a local preacher. She is the first to befriend Eddie in a relationship that will prove as rugged as the ground they walk on. Despite having little in common, Eddie and Mary need one another for survival and companionship. But as the Great Depression threatens, the delicate balance of their reliance on one another tips, pitting neighbor against neighbor, exposing the dark secrets they hide from one another, and triggering a series of disquieting events that threaten to unravel not only their friendship but their families as well.”

And here is a really great video of the author talking about how her own family and upbringing led her to write this book:


The event is free and open to the public.

Yep, We’re Bragging!

Posted byAlison Aten on 01 Mar 2010 | Tagged as: Authors, Awards, Fiction, MHS press

TWin Cities Picture ShowOur authors are winners! We are pleased to announce that our book, Twin Cities Picture Show: A Century of Moviegoing by Dave Kenney and the Minnesota History magazine article, “Constructing Suburbia: Richfield in the Postwar Era” by Lisa Plank and Thomas Saylor are winners of the 2010 David Gebhard Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Society for Architectural Historians.

In addition to being a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, N. M. Kelby’s A Travel Guide for Restless Hearts won the Florida Book Award  Gold Medal for best general fiction.

And finally, today you can vote for your favorite book nominated for a Minnesota Book Award in the Reader’s Choice category. Click on the link and vote!

An “artful collection of stories”

Posted byAlison Aten on 23 Nov 2009 | Tagged as: Authors, Fiction, MHS Author in the News, MHS press

A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts book coverThe New York Times Book Review praised N. M. Kelby’s  A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts yesterday as “an artful collection of stories.” To find out when and why N. M. is moving back to the Twin Cities, see her interview with Amy Goetzman in MinnPost.

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