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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 Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, Gretchen Marquette, and Steve Marsh

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.

Steve Marsh has profiled such luminaries as Jay-Z and Kermit the Frog for Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, Delta Sky, Vulture, GQ, and Grantland. He lives in Minneapolis.

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.

Thursday, April 6, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
It Starts With Hope: Writing and Images of Hope Donated to the Center for Victims of Torture

The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is an international nongovernmental organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota, with locations around the world, including Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, and the United States. The center extends multidisciplinary rehabilitative care to torture survivors every day.

In honor of their 30th anniversary, CVT asked individuals to share what hope means to them on a Tumblr webpage. From around the world, people sent original photos, poems, essays, and messages of hope, the best of which were published in this volume.

Featuring editor and poets Ted Bowman, John Krumberger and Lynette Reini-Grandal who will not only read their contributions in the volume, but also other poetry of hope. In addition, one of the photographers whose work appears in the volume – Jack Mader – will show his photography and discuss images of hope and resiliency. Jack considers himself a journalist using his camera to document his visual experience and he loves to share that experience with others

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.

Monday, April 10, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Boundaries Without: The Calumet Editions 2017 Anthology of Speculative Fiction

About the book:

A collection of stories by award-winning and best-selling authors like Lyda Morehouse (Every Thing in Its Place), Cynthia Kraack (Refugee in Paris) and Nancy Holder (Shift), Boundaries Without takes you on a journey to strange places, odd characters and unsettled times. From jellyfish treatments (The Last Choice) to UFOs (Unpleasantness at 20,000 Feet), from flying bears (American Skin) to behavior modification (Impulse Control), from a devastating future (We Are Still Feeling) to a world outside our concept of time (A Tasty Harvest for King Claudius), these tales offer possibilities that range from the unexplainable to the frightful. Turn on the light and settle back for a journey into the unknown.

About the readers:

Carolyn Killion is a list maker and cookie baker who lives in Grantsburg, WI.

Cynthia Kraack's is author of four speculative fiction works including Minnesota Cold, winner of the 2009 NEMBA, and the Ashwood trilogy. The High Cost of Flowers won the 2014 Midwest Book Awards in both Literary and Contemporary Fiction.

Terry Faust's first young adult urban fantasy, Bearer of Pearls, will be released this summer by North Star Press of St. Cloud. He has been connected to the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Network. He loves drawing, photography and film making. and has been searching for Urban Bigfoot along the West River Road flats.

Lyda Morehouse is an award-winning fiction author of the AngeLink series. She also writes romance as Tate Hallaway.

Bill Nemmers, a novelist and writer, says he lives in St. Paul. His mother is not so sure. She has always thought he hangs in some parallel universe.

G. Bernard Smith writes both speculative and literary fiction. His short stories have been short listed in many national competitions.

Steve McEllistrem is author of the Susquehanna series: The Devereaux Dilemma, The Devereaux Disaster and The Devereaux Decision which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Midwest Book Award and the International Book Award. His most recent release is The Devereaux Deity. He produces and hosts Write On! Radio on KFAI.

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 13, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Stories in Therapy and Stories in Fiction: Bill Percy, author of Nobody's Safe Here in conversation with Ken Stewart

A cattle baron devastated by a horrifying experience early in his life. A teenager with a cache of rifles and a plan to murder his classmates. How will psychologist Ed Northrup and Deputy Sheriff Andi Pelton solve these two mysteries before they overwhelm the quiet mountain town of Jefferson, Montana and tear apart their relationship?

Bill Percy, an Idaho writer, draws on his experiences as a psychotherapist to write vivid, engaging tales of people confronting painful and challenging mysteries. Nobody’s Safe Here is his second novel in the Monastery Valley series. Climbing the Coliseum, the first book in the series, was named a Finalist for the 2014 IndieFab (Foreword Reviews) Book of the Year Award. Two more novels featuring Ed, Andi, Grace, and the people of Monastery Valley will follow.

Ken Stewart, Ph.D. has been a psychotherapist for 42 years. He is past President of the Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. He has been a commentator on North Dakota Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio. He is also a writer and serious amateur photographer (www.kenstewart.photos) Some of his writing can be seen on his website: www.kennethstewart.com. He has a practice in Uptown and in Minnetonka.

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.

Friday, April 21, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Resist Much, Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance

Join three contributors as they present their work!

About the book:

we can’t build a wall. we can only spout pure water again and again and drown his lies. -Eileen Myles

Racism, xenophobia, misogyny and their related malaises are to the U.S. what whiskey is to an alcoholic. The current occupant of the White House won the election yipping, against possible recovery, “Drinks are on me!” The rich, multitudinous voices in this anthology variously call for—having embarked on—the hard work of sobriety, sanity. -Nathaniel Mackey

Poets are summoned to a stronger imagination of language and humanity in a time of new and radical Weathers. White House Inc. is the last gasp of the dying Confederacy, but its spectacle is dangerous and addictive so hold onto your mind. Fascism loves distraction. Keep the world safe for poetry. Open the book of love and resistance. Don't tarry! -Anne Waldman

About the readers:

Lyle Daggett’s most recent book of poems is All Through the Night: New and Selected Poems (Red Dragonfly Press). His political activities began almost 50 years ago, with a speech against the Vietnam war in his ninth grade English class. He has remained active with peace and justice issues and labor organizing since then. He is the author of the weblog A Burning Patience, http://aburningpatience.blogspot.com. He lives in Minneapolis.

Wang Ping was born in China and came to the U.S. in 1986. Her publications of poetry and prose include American Visa, Foreign Devil, Of Flesh and Spirit, New Generation: Poetry from China Today, Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China, The Magic Whip, The Dragon Emperor, The Last Communist Virgin, Flashcards: Poems by Yu Jian. Her books have been translated in Japanese, German, Danish, and other languages. She’s also a photographer, film maker, public performance and installation artist. Her multi-media exhibitions include “Behind the Gate: After the Flood of the Three Gorges”, “All Roads to Lhasa: The Qinghai-Tibet Railroad”, “We Are Water: Kinship of Rivers” at schools, colleges, galleries, museums, lock and dams, and confluences along the Mississippi River and Yangtze. She is professor of English at Macalester College, founder and director of Kinship of Rivers project: kinshipofrivers.org

Morgan Grayce Willow has received a 2017 MSAB Artist Initiative grant to complete her fourth poetry collection. Earlier titles include Dodge & Scramble, Between, Silk, The Maps are Words. An award-winning essayist, her prose has appeared in Water~Stone Review, Imagination & Place: Cartography, Riding Shotgun, and recently the online BoomerLitMag. Morgan completed the book arts core certificate at Minnesota Center for Book Arts and exhibited her artist’s book Collage for Mina Loy in 2016.

50% of all net sales will go to Planned Parenthood.

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.

Wednesday, April 26, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Stephan Pastis presents Pearls Hogs the Road: a Pearls Before Swine Treasury

Move over! Pearls Before Swine is back and badder than ever in the new treasury collection Pearls Hogs the Road. New York Times bestselling author Stephan Pastis punches with the satirical wit and cynical commentary that devotees have come to love—covering everything from puns to politics.

The Pearls gang returns with characteristically misanthropic humor (but more leather). No self-aggrandizing is too flagrant for Rat, no subject is too erudite for Goat, and no sensory input is too basic for Pig. All topics are fair game; comic strip censors, apathetic baristas, and IRS employees are all strongly advised to laugh or get out of the way. Pearls Hogs the Road also features playful and illuminating author commentary, a bonus section where Pastis revises his own work, and three strips illustrated by the legendary Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes, who ended a 19-year hiatus to collaborate with Pastis.

Pearls Before Swine appears in more than 750 newspapers and has sold over half a million books. Pearls Hogs the Road continues the celebration of satire, snark, and sarcasm that is sure to make readers everywhere smile.

Stephan Pastis is an attorney turned cartoonist. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the UCLA School of Law, he worked as a lawyer before trying his hand at cartooning. Pastis lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two children.

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.

Tuesday, May 2, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Keith Lesmeister reads from We Could've Been Happy Here , with Peter Geye and Wintering

About We Could've Been Happy Here:

In his first collection of short fiction, Keith Lesmeister plows out a distinctive vision of the contemporary Midwest. A recovering addict chases down a herd of runaway cows with a girl the same age as his estranged daughter. A middle-aged couple rediscovers their love for one another through the unlikely circumstance of robbing a bank. A drunken grandmother goads her grandson into bartering his leftover booze for a kayak. The daughter of a deployed soldier wages a bloody war on the rabbits ravaging her family’s farm.

These stories peer into the lives of those at the margins–the broken, the resigned, the misunderstood. At turns hopeful and humorous, tender and tragic, We Could’ve Been Happy Here illuminates how we are shaped and buoyed by our intimate connections with others—both those close to us, and those we hardly know.

Keith Lesmeister is the author of We Could’ve Been Happy Here, a collection of stories forthcoming spring 2017. His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Gettysburg Review, Harpur Palate, Meridian, Redivider, Slice Magazine, and many others. His nonfiction has appeared in River Teeth, The Good Men Project, Tin House Open Bar, Water~Stone Review, and elsewhere. He received his M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars. He currently teaches at Northeast Iowa Community College.

About Wintering:

There are two stories in play here, bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding northernmost Minnesota wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint--instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He'd done this once before, thirty-some years earlier, in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his eighteen-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme to him--winter already coming on, in these woods, on these waters--as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs' journeys of discovery. It's certainly a journey Gus has never forgotten. Now--with his father pronounced dead--he relates its every detail to Berit Lovig, who'd waited nearly thirty years for Harry, her passionate conviction finally fulfilled for the last two decades. So, a middle-aged man rectifying his personal history, an aging lady wrestling with her own, and with the entire history of Gunflint.

Peter Geye received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his PhD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and continues to live there with his wife and three children. He is the author of the award winning novels, Safe from the Sea and The Lighthouse Road.

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.

Sunday, May 7, 5:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

A Novel-Writing Workshop with Jessica Lourey

Jessica Lourey leads a one-hour novel-writing workshop followed by a signing of her new book, Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction.

According to common wisdom, we all have a book inside of us. But how do we select and then write our most significant story―the one that helps us to evolve and invites pure creativity into our lives, the one that people line up to read? In Rewrite Your Life, creative writing professor, sociologist, and popular fiction author Jessica Lourey guides you through the redemptive process of writing a healing novel that recycles and transforms your most precious resources―your own emotions and experiences.

This fact-to-fiction process provides not only the essential building blocks of best-selling novels, but is also personally transformative. Based on the process Jess developed and field-tested in the wake of her husband's suicide and discussed in her popular TEDx Talk, Rewrite Your Life is devoted to the practice of discovering, healing, and evolving through fiction writing. It combines research, practical and engaging guidance, and personal experience to meet readers where they are and take their creativity and personal growth to the next level.

Tender, raw, and laugh-out-loud funny, Rewrite Your Life offers both a map and a compass for those seeking to harvest their life experiences to heal, lead a more authentic life, and craft a rich, powerful work of fiction. Join us on Saturday, May 6, at 7:00 for a one-hour workshop on the 7-step process of turning facts into fiction, followed by a Q & A and signing with Jess. Bring something to write with and on.

Jessica Lourey (rhymes with "dowry") is best known for her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." She also writes feminist thrillers, magical realism, and young adult, and is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's 2014 Excellence in Teaching fellowship, and a sought-after workshop leader and keynote speaker who delivered the 2016 "Rewrite Your Life" TEDx Talk.

Wednesday, May 10, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Tom Nichols presents The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters

In recent years, a cult of anti-expertise has engulfed America. While the United States has long been prone to bouts of anti-intellectualism, because of far-reaching technological and social transformations the current variant is of a different order. From the anti-vaccination movement to citizen blogging to uninformed attacks on GMOs, the nation has witnessed a surge in intellectual egalitarianism. As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, there are a number of reasons why this has occurred, ranging from easy access to Internet search engines to a customer satisfaction model within higher education. The product of these interrelated trends, Nichols argues, is a pervasive distrust of expertise among the public along with an unfounded belief among non-experts that their opinions should have equal standing with those of the experts.

The experts are not always right, of course--after all, the leaders who rushed headlong into the Vietnam War were the "best and the brightest." Nichols will discuss expert failure at length, but he makes the crucial point that bad decisions by experts can and have been effectively challenged by other experts. That is fine, he argues. The problem now is that the democratization of information dissemination has engendered an army of ill-informed citizens inveighing against expertise. When challenged, non-experts typically resort to the canard that the experts are often wrong. That may be true, but the solution is not to jettison expertise as an ideal; it is to improve our expertise. He is certainly not opposed to information democratization, but rather the leap to enlightenment that that millions of lightly educated people believe they make when the scour WebMD or Wikipedia. Nichols will show in vivid detail the ways in which this impulse is coursing through our culture and body politic, but his larger goal is to explain the benefits that expertise and rigorous learning regimes bestow upon all societies, not just the United States.

Tom Nichols is Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College, an adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School, and a former aide in the U.S. Senate. He is also the author of several works on foreign policy and international security affairs, including The Sacred Cause, No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security, Eve of Destruction: The Coming Age of Preventive War, and The Russian Presidency. He is also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion, and as one of the all-time top players of the game, he was invited back to play in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Nichols' website is tomnichols.net and he can be found on Twitter at @RadioFreeTom.

Friday, May 12, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Yaa Gyasi presents Homegoing

Winner of the NBCC's John Leonard First Book Prize
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Oprah.com, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Mother Jones, BuzzFeed, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the notorious Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and shipped off to America to be sold into slavery.

With breathtaking scope, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the slave traders of the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the Asantes’ struggle against British colonialism to the first stirrings of the American Civil War, from the jazz of twentieth-century Harlem to the sparkling shores of modern Ghana. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.

Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she held a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellowship. She lives in New York City.

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.

Tuesday, May 30, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Quinton Skinner launches Odd One Out

When a Minnesota father of three awakens his children late in the night with news that their mother has left him and is bound for California, they set off on a hilarious, emotionally charged cross-country road trip to find her. That trip is just the beginning; it takes another decade for the mystery of what really happened to be revealed—and for the healing to begin. Odd One Out traces this compelling story in three parts, told from three points of view, and unravels the chain of events that forever changes this unconventional, brilliant, damaged, and loving family.

Quinton Skinner is the author of the novels Amnesia Nights and 14 Degrees Below Zero, as well as the nonfiction books Do I Look Like a Daddy to You? A Survival Guide for First-Time Fathers and VH1 Behind the Music: Casualties of Rock. He’s written for such publications as Variety, Glamour, and American Theatre, and in the Twin Cities for all three of its major newspapers. He is currently the senior editor of Minnesota Monthly magazine.

Wednesday, May 31, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Rob Bell presents What Is the Bible?

Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined—and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way.

In Love Wins, Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people of faith were afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to our most sacred book, the Bible. What Is the Bible? provides insights and answers that make clear why the Bible is so revered and what makes it truly inspiring and essential to our lives.

Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. You cannot get to the holy without going through the human, Rob tells us. When considering a passage, we shouldn’t ask "Why did God say . . .?" To get to the heart of the Bible’s meaning, we should be asking: "What’s the story that’s unfolding here and why did people find it important to tell it? What was it that moved them to record these words? What was happening in the world at that time? What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God was at that time?" In asking these questions, Rob goes beyond the one-dimensional question of "is it true?" to reveal the Bible’s authentic transformative power.

Rob addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God’s Word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. With What Is the Bible?, he recaptures the Good Book’s magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.

Rob Bell is The New York Times bestselling author of Love Wins, What We Talk About When We Talk about God, The Zimzum of Love, and his most recent book, How To Be Here. iTunes named his podcast, The RobCast, Best of 2015. He’s been profiled in The New Yorker, he’s toured with Oprah on her Life You Want Tour, and in 2011 Time Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People In The World. He has a regular show at Largo, the legendary music and comedy club in West Hollywood and is currently touring his How To Be Here Experience around the world. He and his wife Kristen have three children and live in Los Angeles.

Sunday, June 4, 5:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Courtney Yasmineh launches A Girl Called Sidney

In the late 70’s, teenager Sidney flees Chicago and heads to a rural Minnesota town in the wake of her parents’ disintegrating relationship. Trading one set of struggles for another, Sidney makes it her goal to survive her senior year of high school alone in the coldest place, a remote Northwoods cabin.

Studious and musically inclined, Sidney initially avoids her family’s harsher troubles while her brother bears the brunt, but soon she is hatching a plan that will change everything. Money troubles mount and battle lines are drawn, shattering the family and leaving Sidney wondering: Is she partly responsible?

Readers will find themselves torn between fearing for Sidney and her family members and rooting for the young women at the center of this novel to strike out on her own, navigate in a new and very different town, earn her keep, make music and graduate to adulthood. Left to her own devices, will she be undone or will she discover her own strengths and emerge to a new life?

Searing, nerve-rattling, and joyous.

Courtney Yasmineh is a rock musician and singer-songwriter with a classic rock chick’s frankness, irony, and guts. She has several albums and thousands of road-gig miles to her credit. A new record and US/European tour launch in spring of 2017. A Girl Called Sidney is her first novel. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tuesday, June 13, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Emily Robbins reads from A Word for Love

It is said there are ninety-nine words for “love” in Arabic. In her mesmerizing debut—A Word for Love, c—rising literary star Emily Robbins explores them all. In this timely and pressingly relevant novel, Robbins crafts a melodic meditation on the culture, language, and familial devotion that account for the ninety-nine different ways a language expresses the idea we call “love.”

Set in Syria on the cusp of political unrest, A Word for Love tells the story of Bea, a young American woman who travels around the world to study “The Astonishing Text,” an ancient, original manuscript of a famous Arabic love story that is said to move its best readers to tears. In her search, Bea finds herself transformed by language, risk, war, and a startling new understanding of love. Though it is clearly set in a recognizable Damascus, Syria, the country goes unnamed in the story, as if to say: this story is bigger than a place. Just like “The Astonishing Text,” Bea’s is a story that could happen anywhere in the world where people feel unsafe or oppressed; anywhere that life is difficult, and yet love still prevails. A spare and exquisitely written novel, A Word for Love “transforms the most impossibly tangled and de-humanizing aspects of the world we live in now into prose so clear and clean you could drink it” (Kathryn Davis, author of Duplex and The Thin Place).

Having spent two years in Syria, including one year as a Fulbright Fellow, Robbins has had firsthand experience living in a fluctuating political environment. This experience enabled her to write a novel that is at once deeply intimate and personal, while also shedding enormous light onto what has become a global humanitarian crisis. With A Word for Love, Robbins delivers a powerful novel that questions what it means to love from afar, to be an outsider within a love story, and to take someone else's passion and cradle it until it becomes your own.

Emily Robbins has lived and worked across the Middle East and North Africa. From 2007-2008, she was a Fulbright Fellow in Syria, where she studied religion and language with a women's mosque movement, and lived with the family of a leading intellectual. Robbins holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Chicago and Brownsville, Texas, and has just returned from a second Fulbright Fellowship in Jordan.

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