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Tuesday, February 21, 6:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Kevin Kuhn presents Do You Realize?

George is a middle-management, middle-class, middle-aged guy who hates his job and struggles to stay connected to his wife and teenage children. Most guys might end up with a steamy affair and a flashy car for their midlife crisis, but George gets a quirky, philosophical physics professor named Shiloh. Trapped with this mysterious misfit on his morning commuter train, George is dragged into awkward conversations about love, fear, music, and the meaning of life. Shiloh asks George to beta-test an app he wrote for the new Apple Watch—and with a free watch included, how could he say no?

When tragedy strikes, throwing George out of his uncomfortable comfort zone, he learns that Shiloh’s app lets him journey through alternate versions of his past. As challenges mount in his own reality, George must make a decision that will change him—and possibly the entire multiverse—forever.

Kevin Kuhn lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with his wife Melinda, three children, and two fierce schnoodles. He is a technology executive who enjoys sipping cheap bourbon, avoiding yardwork, and living vicariously through his children’s sports. While Kevin has no musical skill whatsoever, he appreciates a broad spectrum of artists from Pink Floyd to Prince and Radiohead to the Rolling Stones. His golf game is horrific with flashes of mediocrity. This is his first novel.

Wednesday, February 22, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Greg Hewett reads from Blindsight with Chris Martin reading from The Falling Down Dance

About Greg Hewett's Blindsight:

"Hewett is a poet desperate to know—that ‘knowledge’ is never cheap and always comes at great cost is of no importance, because if anything this poet mistrusts simple vision. He aims deeper, darker. The stakes are high for this poet and his gamble pays off stunningly.”—Kazim Ali

In poems that are full of wit, touching, and introspective, as well as formally inventive, we find the poet losing his sight, becoming a parent, and occupying middle age with a sense of calm and inevitability. Hewett draws inspiration from the grand and the mundane, the abjection and joy of creating a vision out of blindness. These poems will change how you perceive the world.

Greg Hewett is the author of darkacre (Coffee House Press, 2010), The Eros Conspiracy (2006), Red Suburb (2002), and To Collect the Flesh (New Rivers Press, 1996)—poetry collections that have received a Publishing Triangle Award, two Minnesota Book Award Nominations, a Lambda Book Award Nomination, and an Indie Bound Poetry Top Ten recommendation. The recipient of Fulbright fellowships to Denmark and Norway, Hewett has also been a fellow at the Camargo Foundation in France, and is a professor of English at Carleton College. He is currently finishing a biography of the film noir actor Thomas Gomez.

About Chris Martin's The Falling Down Dance:

“Like the very best we have, Chris Martin is not a motivational speaker, he’s a poet. The Falling Down Dance is the book I want in the drunken frailty of a failing empire. These poems are the earthly manifestation of a beautiful off-grid voice always a cosmic block ahead of us.”—CAConrad

The poems in this book open a field of exploration around failure, love, despair, time, and fatherhood. It is a guide to surviving winter and learning to walk. It is a story about old houses filled with new song. Behold the first raspberry and the last clasping wet of the world as it parts to reveal mercy, a person.

Chris Martin is the author of American Music (Copper Canyon, 2007) and Becoming Weather (Coffee House Press, 2011). He is also the author of several chapbooks, including How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem (Brave Men, 2011), enough (Ugly Duckling, 2012), the serially released CHAT (Flying Object, 2012), and History (Coffee House Press, 2014). After editing one of the first online magazines, Puppy Flowers, for its entire ten-year run, he is now an editor at Futurepoem books and curates the response blog Futurepost.

Thursday, February 23, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Kathleen Vellenga reads from In the Midst of Bounty

Attitash and Elisabeth may believe their rare friendship will endure those desperate times, but nothing is easy in the New World. As many newcomers from England arrive, they bring both opportunity and greed. The demand for food increases, and so does fear of the Native people. The fragile peace treaty between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag is threatened by treachery, and the friendship between Attitash and Elisabeth faces its toughest challenge.

“The richly developed characters (both those from the Mayflower and those from the land), and their friendships, loves, and feuds, make this narrative immensely enjoyable. The characters are well anchored in their time--the author enlivens their words, dreams, spiritual beliefs, fears and courage in vivid ways--and they come alive as we read. In fact, after the novel ended I could still see and hear the people and their actions, as well as their environment.” - Kramarae.

Kathleen Vellenga spent fourteen years as a Minnesota State Legislator, focusing on breaking down cultural barriers and empowering people. As executive director of the St. Paul Children’s Initiative, she led the establishment of multicultural Family Centers in St. Paul, including the American Indian Family Center. The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council honored her “in appreciation of your effort to support the needs of our children and their families.” She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Friday, February 24, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Ari Herstand presents How to Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living As a Musician

Forget everything you think you know about the odds of “making it” in the music industry. Today, odds mean nothing and success is not about lucky breaks. It’s about conquering social media, mastering the art of merchandising and simply working harder and being smarter than everyone else. We are living in the midst of an industry renaissance, one that has left the record companies desperately struggling to maintain their prominence, as a subculture of dedicated, DIY (do-it-yourself) musicians have taken over. These days talent is a given and success has to be earned.

In 2008, Ari Herstand boldly turned in his green Starbucks apron to his manager, determined to make a living off his craft as a singer/songwriter. Almost a decade later, he has become a founding member of the new DIY movement and a self-sustaining musician, all without the help of a major label. Now, drawing from years of experience, Herstand has written the definitive guide for other like-minded artists, the ones who want to forge their own path and not follow the traditional markers of success, like record sales, hits on the radio or the amount of your label advance. Incredibly comprehensive and brutally honest throughout, How to Make It in the New Music Business covers every facet of the "new" business, including how to:

- Build a grass-roots fan base―and understand the modern fan
- Book a profitable tour, and tips for playing live, such as opening vs. headlining etiquette, and putting on a memorable show
- Become popular on YouTube, Spotify and SoundCloud
- Get songs placed in film and television
- Earn royalties you didn’t know existed and reach your crowdfunding goals

Musicians will not only be introduced to all the tools available today but will be shown how to effectively leverage them to actually make money. More important, they will develop the mindset to be aware of new advancements both online and in the real world and always stay in tune with a constantly evolving landscape.

There has never been a better time to be an independent musician. Today, fans can communicate with their idols by simply picking up their phones, artists are able to produce studio-worthy content from their basement and albums are funded not by "record men" but by generous, engaged supporters. As result, How to Make It in the New Music Business is a must-have guide for anyone hoping to navigate the increasingly complex yet advantageous landscape that is the modern music industry.

Ari Herstand is a DIY musician who has played over six hundred shows around the country, has performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has charted in the top 10 on iTunes and has had his music featured in countless TV shows, commercials and films. He currently fronts the funk band Brassroots District. In 2012, Herstand launched the music business advice blog Ari’s Take (www.aristake.com), which was nominated by L.A. Weekly as one of the best music blogs of Los Angeles.

Wednesday, March 1, 7:00pm - Parkway Theater | 4814 Chicago Avenue | Minneapolis, MN 55417

The Rain Taxi Review of Books presents George Saunders

Rain Taxi is pleased to welcome back to their event series acclaimed writer George Saunders on the occasion of the release of Lincoln in the Bardo. Saunders will both read from this work and participate in an onstage discussion about it with Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer.

“Short story virtuoso Saunders’ first novel is an exhilarating change of pace. . . . With this book, Saunders asserts a complex and disturbing vision in which society and cosmos blur.” —Kirkus Reviews

This is a ticketed event. Advance tickets are $35, and each ticket purchase includes a signed copy of Lincoln in the Bardo. Purchase your advance tickets now via Paypal here.

Tickets and books will be held under the purchaser's name at the Will Call table at the door. Please bring your ID to pick up tickets.

George Saunders has published the short-story collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (a finalist for the 1996 PEN/Hemingway Award), Pastoralia, In Persuasion Nation (a finalist for the Story Prize), Tenth of December (a finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of the Folio Prize), and Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness, a transcript of his 2013 convocation address at Syracuse University, where he teaches. Saunders has won prizes for his best-selling children’s book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, and for a book of essays entitled The Braindead Megaphone, and he has been featured in the O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Travel Writing, and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy anthologies. Named by The New Yorker one of the best American writers under the age of forty in 1999, Saunders has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Lincoln in the Bardo is his first novel.

Sunday, March 5, 6:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
The Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota.

Thursday, March 9, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Tim Brady presents His Father's Son: The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr.

The story of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., a fortunate son who proved himself on the battlefields of two world wars.

General Omar Bradley said of him, “I have never known a braver man or a more devoted soldier.” But for much of his life, Theodore Roosevelt’s son Ted seemed born to live in his father’s shadow. With the same wide smile, winning charm, and vigorous demeanor, Ted possessed limitless potential, with even the White House within his reach.

In the First World War, Ted braved gunfire and gas attacks in France to lead his unit into battle. Yet even after returning home a hero, he was unable to meet the expectations of a public that wanted a man just like his father. A diplomat, writer, and man of great adventure, Ted remained frustrated by his lack of success in the world of politics, witnessing instead the rise of his cousin, Franklin, to the office that had once seemed his for the taking.

Then, with World War II looming, Ted reenlisted. In his mid-fifties with a gimpy leg and a heart condition, he was well past his prime, but his insistence to be in the thick of combat proved a vital asset. Paired with the irascible Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr., Ted soon distinguished himself as a front-line general in a campaign that often brought him into conflict with another hard fighter, George Patton. On D-Day, Ted became the oldest soldier and the only general in the Allied forces to storm the beach in the first wave, hobbling across the sand with his cane in one hand and a pistol in the other. His valor and leadership on Utah Beach became the stuff of legends—and earned him the Medal of Honor.

His Father's Son delves into the life of a man as courageous, colorful, and unwavering as any of the Roosevelt clan, and offers up a definitive portrait of one of America’s greatest military heroes.

Tim Brady is an award-winning writer whose works include Twelve Desperate Miles and A Death in San Pietro. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has written a number of PBS documentaries, and helped develop the series Liberty! The American Revolution, winner of the Peabody Award. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sunday, March 12, 5:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
The Martin Lake Poetry Reading

The Martin Lake Poetry Workshop presents its 2016 collection! Edited by Michael Dean, Mike Finley, John Wenstrom, and Alyssa Whiting

Monday, March 13, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Nickolas Butler reads from The Hearts of Men

An epic novel of intertwining friendships and families set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin at a beloved Boy Scout summer camp—from the bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs.

Camp Chippewa, 1962. Nelson Doughty, age thirteen, social outcast and overachiever, is the Bugler, sounding the reveille proudly each morning. Yet this particular summer marks the beginning of an uncertain and tenuous friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan.

Over the years, Nelson, irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War, becomes Scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa, while Jonathan marries, divorces, and turns his father’s business into a highly profitable company. And when something unthinkable happens at a camp get-together with Nelson as Scoutmaster and Jonathan’s teenage grandson and daughter-in-law as campers, the aftermath demonstrates the depths—and the limits—of Nelson’s selflessness and bravery.

The Hearts of Men is a sweeping, panoramic novel about the slippery definitions of good and evil, family and fidelity, the challenges and rewards of lifelong friendships, the bounds of morality—and redemption.

Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He is the author of the internationally-best selling novel Shotgun Lovesongs, a collection of short stories entitled, Beneath the Bonfire, and The Hearts of Men which has already been longlisted for two of France's top literary awards. He is the winner of France's prestigious PAGE Prix America, the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award, the 2014 Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, the 2015 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award, the 2015 UW-Whitewater Chancellor's Regional Literary Award, and has been long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty Dunnan Award for First Novel and short-listed for France's FNAC Prix. Along the way, he has worked as: a Burger King maintenance man, a tutor, a telemarketer, a hot-dog vendor, an innkeeper (twice), an office manager, a coffee roaster, a liquor store clerk, and an author escort. His itinerant work includes: potato harvester, grape picker, and Christmas tree axe-man. His short stories, poetry, and non-fiction have appeared in: Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Lumberyard, The Christian Science Monitor, Narrative, Sixth Finch, and several other publications. He lives on sixteen acres of land in rural Wisconsin adjacent to a buffalo farm. He is married and has two children.

Tuesday, March 14, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
An Evening With Red Bird Chapbooks

The Landscape of the Body by Nancy Shih-Knodel Nancy Shih-Knodel's poetry collection The Landscape of the Body is a raw and honest look into the progression of cancer in one's life. The poems progress chronologically, so readers are in the throes of the unknown with the poet. We feel her anticipation, her anger, her struggle. These poems offer a glimpse into a world many would rather refuse to see. The fearlessness of Shih-Knodel is the shining beacon of this collection.

Nancy Shih-Knodel grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and received her education at Oberlin College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, The Examined Life Journal, and Yellowjacket Review. She is a faculty member in the English Department at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

An Alphabet for Aging by Joan Johnson

In these quiet, yet spirited, five-line meditations on aging, Joan Johnson packs joy, resignation, self-awareness and reflection into only twenty-two syllables per poem. A lot happens in these cinquains, a cousin to the more-familiar haiku form. Each one-word title effectively adds another line to the poem. The author moves through the alphabet from "Decluttering" to "Lessons" to "Vision," concisely summing up her views on life. In "Wisdom," the speaker reflects on her full life: "I've learned through the lens / of layered years how best to spend / my tears." In "Immigrant," she describes aging as a foreign land with new music and language. While most of these poems invoke peace, this is not a speaker sitting in a rocker on the front porch, watching the world pass her by. In "Quarrelsome," the speaker lets us know she will "spike the stew of peace with / pepper-spiced words, watch how I've fueled / the steam."

Joan Johnson returned to the practice of writing poetry at the age of seventy as she began her retirement. For six years, she has belonged to a writing group in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she lives, close to her daughters and grandsons

The Rough Edge of Joy by Francine Marie Tolf

In The Rough Edge of Joy, Francine Marie Tolf explores grief, childhood memories and the challenges of growing older, all with laser vision for specific details. In "The Hall You Walked Down," her sister Gail is not simply wearing earrings, she is wearing "those defiant earrings" that must have been hard to put on. Leaves "like green fire in morning sun" end the poem "Chrysanthemum Leaves." A turtle "snailed across brick" in "What We Keep." The specificity of these images grounds these poems in the universal. In several poems, such as "Letter to a Woman I'll Name Natalie" and "For Matthew, Who Will Not Remember Me," Tolf paints beautiful portraits of people one meets in passing. Matthew, a young boy, asks incessant, yet insightful, questions on a bus. His mother, busy with a baby, never answers. No matter. Matthew looks out the window at the dark wintery landscape and wonders, "Who made the snow?"

Francine Marie Tolf has published two full length poetry collections, Rain, Lilies, Luck (North Star Press of St. Cloud) and Prodigal (Pinyon Publishing), as well as a memoir, Joliet Girl (North Star Press of St. Cloud), six chapbooks from various presses, and a collection of essays, Joliet in My Blood (Port Yonder Press). Her essays and poems have been published widely in journals including Spoon River Poetry Review, Water-~Stone Review, Poetry East, Under the Sun, Christian Century and Contrary Magazine. Francine lives and works in Minneapolis. More about her at www.francinemarietolf.com

If You Wave a Chicken Over Your Head by Alison Morse

Each story of one-thousand words or less in Alison Morse's If You Wave a Chicken Over Your Head offers a tiny universe. Here, original voices bring their distinct circumstances and compelling troubles to life with honesty and humor. We embark on a wild and glorious ride, immersed in perfectly rendered specificity: food and drink; art supplies; ancient and contemporary history; multiple Jewish cultures; popular music; and climate change. Across time and geography, these characters each seem to wonder: how can one live out goodness in this eternally flawed world? Thankfully, Morse offers no easy morality or pat answers. Instead, her rich images and intimate details add up, and the work is elevated: each line a captivating poem, every story an illumination.

Alison Morse's prose and poetry have appeared in Press 53 Open Awards Anthology, Water~Stone Review, Natural Bridge, Rhino, The Pedestal, The Potomac, Poetry City U.S.A., and mnartists.org, among other journals and anthologies. Her story, "The Truth About 'The Lead Plates at the Romm Press,'" won the 2012 Tiferet Fiction Award. The Women Peacemakers Program at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice published three of her non-fiction narratives. For ten years, Alison ran TalkingImageConnection, a reading series that brought together writers, contemporary visual art and new audiences in Twin-Cities galleries. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband.

...a sleep and a forgetting by Matt Mareck

In his narrative essay, ....a sleep and a forgetting, Matthew Mareck takes readers on a journey from trauma to recovery. In the books of Harry Potter, Mareck finds solace, a way forward, and a meaning bigger than both the books and himself. This essay will leave you remembering the power of being saved by words and how sometimes, words are all we need to keep us moving forward.

Matt Mareck lives and writes in Minneapolis MN. He shaves his head three times a week and has a pile of clothes on the floor next to his bed. He once took fourth place in a pine wood derby. The trophy is on his bookshelf. Bring Back Firefly!

Thursday, March 16, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Brian Harrison and Melissa Michelson present Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes About LGBT Rights

American public opinion tends to be sticky. Although the news cycle might temporarily affect the public zeitgeist about abortion, the death penalty, or gun control, public support or opposition on these issues has remained remarkably constant over decades. But there are notable exceptions, particularly with regard to polarizing issues that highlight identity politics. Over the past three decades, public support for same-sex marriage has risen from scarcely more than a tenth to a majority of the population. Why have people's minds changed so dramatically on this issue, and why so quickly?

Listen, We Need to Talk tests a theory that when prominent people representing particular interest groups voice support for a culturally contentious issue, they sway the opinions of others who identify with the same group, even if the interest group and the issue at hand have no obvious connection. In fact this book shows that the more the message counters prevailing beliefs or attitudes of a particular identity group, the more persuasive it is. While previous studies of political attitude change have looked at the effects of message priming (who delivers a message) on issues directly related to particular identity groups, this study is unique in that it looks at how identity priming affects attitudes and behaviors toward an issue that is not central or directly related to the targeted group. The authors prove their theory through a series of random experiments testing the positive effects of identity-based messaging regarding same-sex marriage among fans of professional sports, religious groups, and ethnoracial (Black and Latino) groups.

Brian F. Harrison (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is a political scientist, writer, and award-winning teacher. He has taught at Northwestern University, Wesleyan University, Loyola University-Chicago, and DePaul University and has held academic affiliations with Yale University and New York University. Brian is a specialist in political communication, political behavior and attitude change, and public opinion. He is co-author of Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights (Oxford University Press, 2017) and has been published in academic journals like Political Behavior, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Social Science Quarterly, among others. Prior to graduate school, Brian was a White House appointee to the Department of Homeland Security. In his spare time, Brian enjoys playing the piano and writing music, watching sports and live theater, and spending time with his family.

Melissa R. Michelson (Ph.D. Yale University) is Professor of Political Science at Menlo College. She is co-author of Mobilizing Inclusion: Redefining Citizenship through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns (Yale, 2012), Living the Dream: New Immigration Policies and the Lives of Undocumented Latino Youth (Paradigm, 2014), and Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights (Oxford, Feb. 2017). She has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, including pieces in American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, and International Migration Review. Her current research projects explore voter registration and mobilization in minority communities and persuasive communication on LGBT rights. In her spare time, she knits and runs marathons.

Friday, March 17, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Jung Yun presents Shelter in conversation with the Riveter Magazine

Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future.

A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantage―private tutors, expensive hobbies―but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he’s compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung’s proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child?

As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one's family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.

Jung Yun was born in South Korea, grew up in North Dakota, and educated at Vassar College, the University of Pennsylvania, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her work has appeared in Tin House (the “Emerging Voices” issue); The Best of Tin House: Stories, edited by Dorothy Allison; and The Massachusetts Review; and she is the recipient of two Artist Fellowships in fiction from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and an honorable mention for the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she lives in Baltimore with her husband and serves as an Assistant Professor of English at the George Washington University.

This event is sponsored by the Riveter Magazine. The Riveter is a magazine that celebrates narratives and longform journalism by women. They are dedicated to exposing the power of women as storytellers, because they noticed a void in the representation of female longform journalists. This is their effort to fill it, and to diversify the narrative. They don’t believe in stories that can be summed up in a sell line.

Sunday, March 19, 5:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

John Evans reads from Should I Still Wish

In this candid and moving memoir, John W. Evans articulates the complicated joys of falling in love again as a young widower. Though heartbroken after his wife’s violent death, Evans realizes that he cannot remain inconsolable and adrift, living with his in laws in Indiana. Motivated by a small red X on a map, Evans musters the courage for a cross country trip. From the Badlands to Yellowstone to the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, Evans’s hope and determination propel him even as he contemplates his vulnerability and the legacy of a terrible tragedy. Should I Still Wish chronicles Evans’s efforts to leave an intense year of grief behind, to make peace with the natural world again, and to reconnect with a woman who promises, like San Francisco itself, a life of abundance and charm. With unflinching honesty Evans plumbs the uncertainties, doubts, and contradictions of a paradoxical experience in this love story, celebration of fatherhood, meditation on the afterlife of grief and resilience, and, ultimately, showcase for life’s many profound incongruities.

John W. Evans is a Jones Lecturer in creative writing at Stanford University. He is the author of Young Widower: A Memoir (Nebraska, 2014), winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize; The Consolations, winner of the 2015 Peace Corps Writers Best Poetry Book; and two poetry chapbooks.

Wednesday, March 22, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Josh Barkan reads from Mexico

Josh Barkan's Mexico is a stunning, assured collection of twelve stories about ordinary people—parents, lovers, teachers, and artists—struggling to build their lives in a world consumed by cartel violence and chaos. In a group of gritty and vitally relevant stories, Barkan tackles issues spanning immigration, the prison system, and the drug war. Drawing from his own experience as an American living in Mexico, he brings this world to vibrant and authentic life.

Throughout Mexico, Barkan introduces us to a cast of varied and pitch-perfect characters who find themselves inexorably caught up in and impacted by the criminality and brutality of the Mexican cartels. There is a former beauty queen who bears the scars of her tragic past and helps a cancer patient discover her will to live. There is a teacher whose students, risking death for their star-crossed love, inspire him to make amends with his estranged family. And there is also a painter who is kidnapped off the street, a chef who must cook for a gangster under pain of death, a plastic surgeon forced to alter a fugitive drug lord's appearance, and many more compelling and memorable characters suddenly thrust into harrowing, life-changing situations. But for all that these characters' lives are touched by crime, Mexico is much more than crime fiction alone. These are complicated and deeply human tales that touch on universally recognizable themes such as parents' desire to connect with their children, an idealistic belief in young love, and the struggle to maintain faith in a world full of hardship. As they confront these challenges, each of these characters illuminates the human toll such a world demands.

Josh Barkan has a keen eye for detail and an authentic sense of place, polished over many years spent living in Mexico, and he brings this world to life with uncommon grace. As extreme as the events in these stories may be, they are always grounded in recognizable and relatable human characters. Even as they struggle with their complicity in various forms of state-sanctioned violence, they must also confront spousal betrayal, terminal illness, sexual orientation, questions of religion, familial values, and professional ambitions. While each of these characters and their stories emerge with utter originality, readers will see themselves in these pages, making the unflinching portrait of drug violence all the more affecting and alarming—and rendering its emergent sense of optimism all the more profound.

Josh Barkan has won the Lightship International Short Story Prize and has been a finalist for the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, the Paterson Fiction Prize, and the Juniper Prize for Fiction. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, and his writing has appeared in Esquire. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught writing at Harvard, Boston University, and New York University. With his wife, a painter from Mexico, he divides his time between Mexico City and Roanoke, Virginia.

Thursday, March 23, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Paul Bogard presents The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are

In his pioneering and exhilarating new book The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are (Little, Brown, March 2017), award-winning nature writer Paul Bogard reveals the secrets of the most underappreciated part of the world: the land itself. No matter where you live on Earth, the foundation for all human civilization is (quite literally) the ground. Yet despite the fact that it provides us with food, plays host to an astonishing number of organisms, and supports all human structures, the ground is often overlooked – or worse, paved over. This is the book that shows in sublime detail the wonder of our planet on the ground level.

From New York City, which supports 118,000,000 tons of human development on Manhattan alone, to Alaskan villages unconnected by roads, to Mexico City, which sinks several inches per year under the weight of its human inhabitants, to some of the few untouched wild places still left on earth, The Ground Beneath Us takes a detailed look at what’s right under our feet. In talking to soil scientists and farmers, indigenous hunters and Appalachian activists, archeologists and ecologists and cartographers, in places as wide-ranging as Civil War battlefields, concentration camp sites, crane migration grounds, baseball stadium outfields, and massive industrial farms, Bogard shows us just how vitally important the ground is– and how reckless humans often are with this crucial resource.

Be it dramatic and controversial acts like fracking or the commonplace ones like paving roads, humans have a big impact on the soil wherever we go in the world. And this poses an alarming risk to our food supply, our wildlife, and the very foundation of human life on Earth: the ground beneath our feet.

Paul Bogard is the author of The End of Night and the editor of the anthology Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark. His writing and commentary on the natural world have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on Slate, Salon, and All Things Considered. He teaches creative nonfiction at James Madison University and lives in Virginia and Minnesota.

Sunday, March 26, 5:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Gavin Schmitt presents Shallow Grave

Barricade Books adds to its long list of True Crime/Mafia books the much-anticipated sequel to the groundbreaking Milwaukee Mafia from author Gavin Schmitt.

Schmitt picks up where Milwaukee Mafia left off, focusing on the abduction and murder of a prominent businessman in 1963. Although Shallow Grave is a stand-alone book, those who have read Schmitt’s previous work will have additional insight into the grimy, shadowy world of Milwaukee’s mob.

The heinous murder is simply a spark for what happens next: a police chief’s wife is arrested for a second murder, the department goes into disarray, and one of the most-wanted mobsters in the area is kidnapped by men claiming to be FBI agents and forced to play Russian roulette.

This book combines police investigative reports, newspaper accounts, autopsy records, and close to one million confidential FBI pages to tell a previously untold story of Mafia mayhem and government corruption. Years of research by the author bring those who hid in the shadows into the light for the first time.

Crime historian Thomas Hunt (DiCarlo: Buffalo’s First Family of Crime) called Milwaukee Mafia “comprehensive and entertaining and a long overdue assessment of the substantial role of Milwaukee underworld figures in the evolution of American organized crime.” Schmitt’s new book expands on this.

Gavin Schmitt has been a life-long resident of Wisconsin and has written on the Midwest’s dark history for many years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals. His other books include Milwaukee Mafia (also from Barricade) and several histories of Wisconsin’s northeast region.

Monday, March 27, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Brian Volck presents Attending Others

Becoming a doctor requires years of formal education, but one learns the practice of medicine only through direct encounters with the fragile others called "patients." Pediatrician Brian Volck recounts his own education in the mysteries of suffering bodies, powerful words, and natural beauty. It's a curriculum where the best teachers are children and their mothers, the classrooms are Central American villages and desert landscapes, and the essential texts are stories, poems, and paintings. Through practices of focused attention, he grows from detached observer of his patients' lives into an uneasy witness and grateful companion. From the inner city to the Navajo Nation and from the Grand Canyon to the mountains of Honduras, Volck learns to listen to children unable to talk, to assist in healing when cure is impossible, and to love those whose life and experiences are radically different from his own.

This is not a how-to book or a brief for reforming medical education. Attending Others is a highly personal account of what the author learned about medicine after he completed his formal education. The short answer, it turns out, is pretty much everything.

Brian Volck is a pediatrician and writer with an MD from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Seattle Pacific University. His first collection of poetry, Flesh Becomes Word, was released in 2013. His essays, poetry, and reviews have appeared in America, The Christian Century, DoubleTake, Health Affairs, and IMAGE.

Thursday, March 30, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
John Jodzio presents the re-release of If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home , with Gretchen Marquette and Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl

John Jodzio, whose recent breakout collection Knockout was hailed by the New York Times Book Review ("every story inventive and a pleasure to read”) and NPR ("He's a compassionate writer who is refreshingly unafraid to take risks, and his book is, well, a knockout”) returns with this expanded and updated edition of his cult classic. Jodzio has been lauded for his writing that delicately walks the line between the pain and humor of human experience, the small truths that are exposed through ludicrous situations and the captivating characters that must navigate them.

A middle-aged masochist in love with a comatose man. A gay birthday clown lamenting the loss of his beloved dog. A boy whose job is to pretend he’s the dead son of a lonely divorcee. And a bikini model who wakes up form sunbathing to find a barnacle has stuck itself to her butt cheek. These are just a few of the characters who populate the world of If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home, a world that allows absurdity without sacrificing realism, a world that is at once melancholic and optimistic.

John Jodzio once again deftly documents his characters’ disappointments, frustrations, and longing for a home that seems forever out of reach. By turns bleak and hopeful, cruel and tender, this is the reintroduction of an exciting literary debut by a writer with a unique and compelling voice.

John Jodzio is a winner of the Loft-McKnight Fellowship and the author of the story collections Get In If You Want to Live and Knockout. His work has been featured in a variety of places including This American Life, McSweeney’s, and One Story. He lives in Minneapolis.

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a food and wine writer, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Gretchen Marquette is the author of a forthcoming collection of poems, titled May Day. Her poetry has appeared in Harper's, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Friday, March 31, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Jessica Laser reads from He That Feareth Every Grass Must Not Piss in a Meadow, with Daniel Poppick reading from The Police , and Mary Austin Speaker with The Bridge

About the writers:

Jessica Laser is the author of chapbooks He That Feareth Every Grass Must Not Piss in a Meadow (paradigm press, 2016) and Assumed Knowledge and the Knowledge Assumed from Experience (Catenary Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Hyperallergic, The Iowa Review, Lana Turner, jubilat, Prelude and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has most recently taught at Brown University, SUNY Purchase and The New School.

Daniel Poppick is the author of The Police (Omnidawn, 2017). His poems have recently appeared in the New Republic, BOMB, Granta, Hyperallergic, and Fence. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he currently lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches undergraduate writing at the New School and co-edits the Catenary Press.

Mary Austin Speaker is the author of Ceremony (Slope Editions, 2013), The Bridge (Shearsman Books 2016), 20 Love Poems for 10 Months (Ugly Duckling Presse 2012) and Necropastorals (Wooden Leg Print & Press 2016). Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Iowa Review, Conduit, Subtropics, and elsewhere. She is co-editor of Society Editions, and Artistic Director of Milkweed Editions. She lives in Minneapolis.

Monday, April 3, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Thomas Frank presents Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

From the bestselling author of What’s the Matter With Kansas, a scathing look at the failures of liberal politics, a book that helps explain the shocking outcome of the 2016 presidential election

It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.

But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.

With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.

Thomas Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, and What's the Matter with Kansas? A former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper's, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

Sunday, April 9, 6:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

The Mill City Reading Series

The Mill City Reading Series is a monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota.

Wednesday, April 12, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Jane Hamilton presents The Excellent Lombards

Mary Francis “Frankie” Lombard is deeply in love with her family’s sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. Content to spend her days planning capers with her brother William, one-upping her brainy cousin Amanda, and expertly tending the orchard with her father, Frankie desires nothing more than for the rhythm of life to continue undisturbed. But change is inevitable, and threats of urbanization, disinheritance, and college applications shake the foundation of Frankie’s roots. As Frankie is forced to shed her childhood fantasies and face the possibility of losing the idyllic future she had envisioned for her family, she must decide whether loving something means clinging tightly or letting go.

Jane Hamilton’s novels have won literary prizes, been made into films, and become international bestsellers; and two of them, The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, were selections of Oprah’s Book Club. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Allure, O: The Oprah Magazine, Elle, and various anthologies. She’s married to an apple farmer and lives in Wisconsin. For more information about the author, visit her website at http://www.janehamiltonbooks.com.

Thursday, April 20, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

An Evening of Poetry: Emilie Buchwald reads from The Moment's Only Moment with Margaret Hasse reading from Between Us

About Emilie Buchwald's The Moment's Only Moment:

The world Emilie Buchwald’s poems conjure in The Moment’s Only Moment is a union of heart and head. These poems illuminate the everyday, interrogate personal history, and evoke the essence of places traveled and people encountered, remembered, cherished. As Pattiann Rogers comments, “Each poem focuses on an occasion, a moment of discovery or joy, regret or reverie, moments simple and profound. Her language, filled with music and cadence and clear, sharp imagery, is exquisite as she evokes each scene and circumstance, layering a subtle undercurrent of loss with camaraderie and wit, curiosity, and keen insight.” A constant thread in The Moment’s Only Moment is the imperative to be awake and aware during one’s passage through time--to live a life that’s fully inhabited, a life that seeks meaning and kindles memories.

Emilie Buchwald has been a lively presence on the literary scene since she cofounded the literary journal Milkweed Chronicle in 1980. Its companion publisher Milkweed Editions became one of the most respected literary presses in the nation. Buchwald also made a name for herself as the author of children’s books and a fierce defender of environmental and activist literature. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous publications. She has edited or coedited several poetry anthologies and is the author of two children’s novels and two children’s picture books. Currently, she is the publisher and editor of The Gryphon Press, now in its tenth year..

About Margaret Hasse's Between Us:

Between Us, Margaret Hasse’s new book, brings her distinctive, lyrical, and intimate voice to bear on a range of experiences and states of being. She writes equally well, with precision and surprise, about connections with the natural world and with people. In poems about camping and hiking in the wilderness, we hear the song of invisible birds and the communal hum of insects. In the forest, where deer appear with their “black-walnut eyes” to graze new grass, Hasse concludes: “Today I believe everything." This expression of joy in the unexpected gifts of daily life is one of the hallmarks of the collection.

Margaret Hasse lives with her husband and sons in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she works in the community arts and teaches. She is the recipient of literary fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, and McKnight Foundation through The Loft Literary Center. Between Us is her fifth book of poetry.

Sunday, April 23, 5:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Vaddey Ratner reads from Music of the Ghosts

Teera, a thirty-seven-year old American, returns to Cambodia for the first time since her harrowing escape as a refugee more than two decades ago. She travels with the ashes of her recently deceased aunt and a letter from a mysterious stranger who calls himself the Old Musician and claims to have known her father in a notorious Khmer Rouge security prison, just before he disappeared.

Arriving in Phnom Penh, Teera finds a chaotic society where the perpetrators and victims of unfathomable violence live side by side, slowly, painfully, but steadfastly working to mend their scarred, yet still beloved, country. She reacquaints herself with places that ignite long-buried memories, meets a young doctor who begins to open her heart to a new Cambodia, and prepares as best she can to finally learn her father's fate.

Meanwhile, the Old Musician, a nearly-blind elderly man who earns his modest keep playing ceremonial music at a temple, awaits Teera's visit with great trepidation. The weight of the confessions he must make—of his lasting love for Teera's mother, his jealous admiration for her father, the passion with which they all embraced the Khmer Rouge's illusory promise of a truly democratic society, and the truth about her father’s end—bears down mercilessly on his conscience.

Together, Teera and the Old Musician confront the truth of their intertwined past, blending discordant notes into a redemptive melody that will leave both transformed and Teera free to find a new home and a new love in the places she least expects.

A love story for things lost and things restored, each gorgeously lyrical page of this literary masterpiece is a testament to Vaddey Ratner's boundless talent, deep empathy, and unwavering belief that, even in the worst of times, hope can exist beside despair, dignity beside brutality.

Vaddey Ratner is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and arrived in the United States when she was eleven years old. Her New York Times bestselling and critically-acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan, was a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist and has been translated into seventeen languages. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Cornell University, where she specialized in Southeast Asian history and literature.

Thursday, April 27, 7:00pm - Grace-Trinity Church | 1430 W 28th St | Minneapolis, MN 55408

Jeff VanderMeer presents Borne , in conversation with Benjamin Percy

Jeff VanderMeer will read and discuss his new novel Borne (April 2017, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), in conversation with the Twin Cities' own Benjamin Percy.

This event is free and open to the public, but we'd love an RSVP so we know how many people to expect! RSVP here.

Parking & Seating: Street parking only. Seating is general admission. An RSVP does not reserve you a seat. We encourage you to arrive early--there is no overflow room! Doors open at 6:30pm.

Book Signing: Books will be available for sale at the event, and Mr. VanderMeer will be available for a signing afterward.

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor, most recently the author of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy—the first volume of which, Annihilation, is currently being made into movie to be released by Paramount in 2017—and the coeditor with his wife, Ann VanderMeer, of The Big Book of Science Fiction. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida. More at: http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/

Benjamin Percy is the author of three novels, most recently The Dead Lands, two books of short stories, and Thrill Me, a collection of essays published by Graywolf Press. His honors include an NEA Fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, and the Plimpton Prize. More at: https://www.graywolfpress.org/author-list/benjamin-percy

Friday, April 28, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Sarah Manguso presents 300 Arguments

A “Proustian minimalist on the order of Lydia Davis” (Kirkus Reviews), Sarah Manguso is one of the finest literary artists at work today. To read her work is to witness acrobatic acts of compression in the service of extraordinary psychological and spiritual insight.

300 Arguments, a foray into the frontier of contemporary nonfiction writing, is at first glance a group of unrelated aphorisms. But, as in the work of David Markson, the pieces reveal themselves as a masterful arrangement that steadily gathers power. Manguso’s arguments about desire, ambition, relationships, and failure are pithy, unsentimental, and defiant, and they add up to an unexpected and wise piece of literature.

Sarah Manguso is the author of three book-length essays, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay; a story collection; and two poetry collections. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at St. Mary’s College.

Wednesday, May 3, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Edward McPherson presents The History of the Future: American Essays

The History of the Future is a centripetal volume: a collection of essays that converge where place, past, and future overlap, and which bring together the popular, the personal, and the political. Edward McPherson’s meditations on the United States—from its soaring, vulnerable architecture to its deep underground tunnels—are bracing in their acknowledgment of what’s been lost to time and his anxieties about what’s ahead. This is a smart and beautifully written book about America.”—Rebecca Traister

What does it mean to think about Dallas in relationship to Dallas? In The History of the Future, McPherson reexamines American places and the space between history, experience, and myth. Private streets, racism, and the St. Louis World’s Fair; fracking for oil and digging for dinosaurs in North Dakota boomtowns—Americana slides into apocalypse in these essays, revealing us to ourselves.

Edward McPherson is the author of two previous books: Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat (Faber & Faber) and The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Feats (HarperCollins). He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Paris Review, Tin House, and the American Scholar, among others. He has received a Pushcart Prize, the Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction, a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, and the Gesell Award from the University of Minnesota, where he received his MFA. He teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis.

Monday, May 15, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Rakesh Satyal reads from No One Can Pronounce My Name

A humorous and tender multigenerational novel about immigrants and outsiders - those trying to find their place in American society and within their own families.

In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. For some, America is a bewildering and alienating place where coworkers can't pronounce your name but will eagerly repeat the Sanskrit phrases from their yoga class. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant in his midforties, lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of Harit's sister, Swati. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant in her midforties, has just seen her only child, Prashant, off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana's paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.

Reminiscent of Angela Flournoy's The Turner House, Ayad Akhtar's American Dervish, and Jade Chang's The Wangs vs. the World, No One Can Pronounce My Name is a distinctive, funny, and insightful look into the lives of people who must reconcile the strictures of their culture and traditions with their own dreams and desires.

Rakesh Satyal is the author of the novel Blue Boy, which won the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Debut Fiction and the 2010 Prose/Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. Satyal was a recipient of a 2010 Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts and two fellowships from the Norman Mailer Writers' Colony. His writing has appeared in New York Magazine, Vulture, Out magazine, and The Awl. A graduate of Princeton University, he has taught in the publishing program at New York University and has been on the advisory committee for the annual PEN World Voices Festival. He lives in Brooklyn.

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