Swati Avasthi has received numerous writing honors, including a Loft’s Mentor Series Award, the University of Minnesota’s Thomas Shevlin Fellowship, and DeBourg Fellowship. Her short fiction has been nominated for The Best New American Voices and a Pushcart Prize. Split, her acclaimed debut novel, is a powerful and gripping story about a teenaged boy who is thrown out of his house by an abusive father and goes to live with his older brother, who ran away from home years ago to escape the abuse. Prior to writing Split, Avasthi coordinated a domestic violence clinic, where she interviewed thousands of women who were seeking order of protection.
Sandra Benítez has spent her life moving between the Latin American culture of her Puerto Rican mother and the Anglo-American culture of her father. Her acclaimed first novel, A Place Where the Sea Remembers, won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and a Minnesota Book Award for Fiction. Her second book, Bitter Grounds, set in El Salvador, won an American Book award and was nominated for Great Britain’s prestigious Orange Prize. Recipient of the 2004 National Hispanic Heritage Award Honoree for Literature, her books have been translated into half-a-dozen languages. Her other titles include The Weight of All Things, Night of the Radishes, and most recently Bag Lady: A Memoir, The Triumphant True Story of Loss, Illness and Recovery.
Rita Mae Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series (which she writes with her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie) and the Sister Jane novels. Her latest book, The Big Cat Nap: The 20th Anniversary Mrs. Murphy Mystery, celebrates the long-running series. Rita Mae Brown is also the author of the critically acclaimed books, Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, The Sand Castle and the memoirs Animal Magnetism and Rita Will. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Virginia, with cats, hounds, horses, and big red foxes.
Local author Brenda Child is the consulting editor for the Penguin Library of American Indian History, an associate professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota, and a member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe. Her book Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families won the North American Indian Prose Award. Her latest book, Holding our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community, brings readers to a fascinating interpretation of Native American women and their significant roles in commerce, agriculture and spirituality.
Kate DiCamillo is the author of Because of Winn Dixie (winner of a Newbery Honor and Josette Frank Award), The Tiger Rising (a National Book Award finalist), and The Tale of Despereaux (winner of the 2003 Newbery Medal), and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award). In addition she has recently completed a series of six early chapter books about a pig named Mercy Watson and has also author to picture books. From literary success, came Hollywood success: Because of Winn Dixie and Tale of Desperaux were made into successful acclaimed full-length films, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Magician's Elephant have now been optioned to be made into films. She lives in Minneapolis.
Mark Doty is the only American poet to have received the T.S. Eliot Prize in the U.K. Recipient of numerous other awards and fellowships including the National Book Critics Circle Award, two Lambda Literary Awards, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, Guggenheim fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and others. Doty’s Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. Widely anthologized, he has published eight books of poems, including School of the Arts, Source, and Sweet Machine, as well as four volumes of nonfiction prose including the New York Times bestseller Dog Years.
Heid Erdrich is the author of three poetry collections including National Monuments, Fishing for Myth, and The Mother’s Tongue. She has received two Minnesota State Arts Board fellowships and has been nominated four times for the Minnesota Book Award which she won in 2009. Co-editor of the book, Sister Nations: Native American Women on Community, she is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwa. She and her sister Louise Erdrich co-founded a non-profit clearinghouse for indigenous language-centered literature called Birchbark House.
Anne Fadiman is an award-winning author, essayist, editor, and teacher. It is the 15th Anniversary of her first book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, which chronicles the trials of an epileptic Hmong child and her family living in Merced, California. The book won a National Book Critics' Circle Award and The Washington Post called it “an intriguing, spirit-lifting, extraordinary exploration.” In 2009 it was chosen by the Young Adult Library Association as one of its recommended titles for all students. She has also authored two best-selling essay collections: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader and At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays, both to great critical acclaim. For seven years Anne Fadiman edited The American Scholar and her essays and articles have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among many other publications. She has won National Magazine Awards for both reporting and essays.
Best-selling author Neil Gaiman has long been one of the top writers in modern comics, as well as writing books for readers of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. His award-winning and world renowned works includes the books for adults, American Gods, Anansi Boys, Good Omens, among others. His works for young readers include Mirrormask and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. His international best-selling children's novel Coraline (published in 2002) received numerous awards and was made into an acclaimed animated movie by Director Henry Selick in 2009. He is also well-known as the writer and creator of the DC Comic series, Sandman.
Missed the talk with Elizabeth Gilbert? Listen to her live interview on MPR's Midmorning.
Gilbert is best known for her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love, an international bestseller, translated into over thirty languages, with over 7 million copies sold worldwide, and a movie version starring Julia Roberts. Her other celebrated works include Stern Men, The Last American Man, and Pilgrims. Her newest work, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, interweaves a history of marriage across centuries and cultures with a personal account of her attempts to come to terms with her own impending marriage.
Missed the talk with Jane Hamilton? Check back soon for a recording of the event from MPR's Midday.
Jane Hamilton’s first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her second novel, A Map of the World, was chosen as an Oprah Book Club book as well and named one of the top ten books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and People. Her other critically-acclaimed books include The Short History of a Prince, Disobedience, When Madeline Was Young, and Laura Rider's Masterpiece.
Patricia Hampl is the author of five award-winning memoirs (A Romantic Education, Virgin Time, I Could Tell You Stories, and Blue Arabesque) and two collections of poetry. She has received fellowships from MacArthur, Guggenheim Foundation, Bush Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts (twice, in poetry and prose), and others. Four of her books have been named "Notable Books" of the year by The New York Times Book Review and her writing has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Best American Short Stories. Hampl is Regents Professor and also McKnight Distinguished Professor at the University of Minnesota.
Musician and author Paul Harding’s debut novel, Tinkers, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. Tinkers has been recognized as one of the best debut fiction books of 2009 on the lists of The New Yorker, National Public Radio, San Francisco Chronicle, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Star Tribune and Amazon.com. His short stories have appeared in Shakepainter and The Harvard Review. Harding has taught at the University of Iowa and Harvard. His second novel, which will be published in the summer of 2012, returns to some of the characters in Tinkers.
Last year, Deborah Harkness’s first novel, A Discovery of Witches, debuted on bestseller lists across the country and was sold in over 34 countries. Releasing in paperback in January 2012, A Discovery of Witches is a sophisticated fairy tale for adults about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. In addition to writing fiction, Harkness is a history professor and has received numerous awards for her academic writing, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. She also writes an award-winning wine blog, Good Wine Under $20.
Pete Hautman and Mary Logue are Minnesota’s most talented literary couple, having published dozens of award-winning books collaboratively and as individuals. Pete won the National Book Award for his young adult book Godless. He also has won a Minnesota Book Award and two Wisconsin Library Association Awards. His other works include Blank Confession, Sweetblood, and All-In, Rash, No Limit, and Invisible. Mary is an award-winning poet and novelist, having written seven mysteries, three collections of poetry, and multiple books of nonfiction and fiction for young readers. Her novel, Dancing With an Alien, was recongized as American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults in 2002. Together Pete and Mary co-author the acclaimed Bloodwater mystery series for teens.
Jenni Holm is the award-winning author of the graphic novel series, Baby Mouse, illustrated by her brother Matthew Holm. Babymouse was the first graphic novel to win an ALA Notable Children's Book, and has garnered other honors such as the Gryphon and New York City Book Show awards. Holm is a three time Newbery Honor recipient for Our Only May Amelia, Penny From Heaven, and most recently, Turtle in Paradise. She also authors the Boston Jane series for young adults, starring Jane Peck, a young woman living in the 1850s. The books have won ALA Best Book for Young Adults Awards.
Pam Houston is an award-winning novelist, essayist, editor, and teacher. Her stories have been selected for the O. Henry Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Best American Short Stories of the Century. Her two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, are both best-sellers and have each won multiple awards. She also has written two novels, two collections of autobiographical essays, and boasts work as an editor, assembling Women on Hunting: Essays, Fiction, and Poetry. She is a regular contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, and many other periodicals. Her newest novel, Contents May Have Shifted, is a skillfully written non-linear novel about a woman traveling the world over, from Alaska to Tunisia, from Bhutan to Newfoundland, searching for authenticity and soaking up life.
Host Lynne Rossetto Kasper and producer Sally Swift put on the award-winning radio show, The Splendid Table, which airs on more than 290 public radio stations in the United States. The Splendid Table has received two James Beard Foundation Awards for Best National Radio Show on Food, four Clarion Awards from Women in Communication and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show. In 2008, Lynne and Sally publisher the best-selling cookbook, The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper. They will share stories about life in food and talk about newest collaboration, The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Weekends, which contains over 100 recipes for celebrating and enjoying Saturdays and Sundays.
Author, poet, storyteller, humorist, and creator of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor has been entertaining audiences for more than 35 years with his tales from Lake Wobegon. Author of more than a dozen books (including Lake Wobegon Days, Pontoon, Life Among Lutherans and Good Poems for Hard Times), Keillor writes a syndicated newspaper column and is a frequent contributor to Time, The New Yorker, and National Geographic. His radio show inspired the 2006 movie, A Prairie Home Companion. A member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, he lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter.
Gish Jen is the author of three novels, Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land and The Love Wife, and a collection of stories, Who’s Irish? She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a $250,000 Harold and Mildred Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and New Republic, and have been reprinted in numerous textbooks and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Named one of the eight most important contemporary American women writers by critic Elaine Showalter, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Gish’s new novel, World and Town (October 2010), explores concepts of religion, home, and personal worlds through the lens of Hattie Kong, a sixty-eight-year-old woman restarting her life.
Kevin Kling is a storyteller, playwright, and regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays have been seen at the Guthrie Theater, Second Stage, Seattle Rep, the Goodman Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, and the HBO Comedy Arts Festival. Best known for hilarious, often tender stories, Kevin has released a number of compact disc collections of his stories. Kevin Kling's first book, The Dog Says How, brought readers into his wonderful world of the skewed and significant mundane. His second book, Holiday Inn, is a romp through a year of holidays and spent weeks on local and national best-seller lists last year.
For nearly 40 years, Brenda Langton has been one of the most recognizable guiding lights of Twin Cities organic dining, from the earliest days at the Commonplace Cooperative Restaurant to her award-winning establishments Cafe Kardamena and the beloved Cafe Brenda. Always ahead of the curve when it comes to serving local, organic, and vegetarian cuisine, she’s been a repeat judge for the James Beard Foundation’s annual cookbook awards and is an advisor on product development to the food industry and large Minnesota-based retailers. Her newest cookbook, The Spoonriver Cookbook, is a tribute to her acclaimed Spoonriver restaurant and the Mill City Farmers Market, as well as a presentation of the vision and philosophy behind her delicious creations.
The Twin Cities’ own Lorna Landvik is a renowned writer, comedienne, and personality-around-town. Passionate about writing and theater from an early age, she made her debut as a novelist in 1996 with the critically acclaimed Patty Jane's House of Curl followed by 8 more novels, including best-sellers Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Oh My Stars and The View from Mt. Joy. She also continues to work as an actor and playwright, having appeared in Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop, and most currently in a one-woman, all-improvised show called, Party in the Rec Room.
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. Louv’s first book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, was translated into 10 languages and published in 15 countries. His newest book The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder, offers a new vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology. Recipient of numerous awards for his research and writing, Louv has appeared on NBC's Today Show, ABC's Good Morning America, National Public Radio, and elsewhere.
Frances Mayes is the author of four books about Tuscany. The now-classic Under the Tuscan Sun–which was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years and became a Touchstone movie starring Diane Lane. It was followed by Bella Tuscany and two illustrated books, In Tuscany and Bringing Tuscany Home. She is also the author of the novel, Swan, six books of poetry, and The Discovery of Poetry. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Her new book, Every Day in Tuscany, chronicles her continuing, two decades-long love affair with Tuscany's people, art, cuisine, and lifestyle.
Alexander McCall Smith has written more than 60 books, but is best known for his internationally acclaimed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which rapidly rose to the top of the bestseller lists throughout the world. The series has now been translated into 45 languages and has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. The series has won many awards, including the “International Book of the Year and the Millennium” from the Times Literary Supplement. The beloved series was adapted for HBO television in 2008. The newest No. 1 Ladies’ Detective mystery, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, was released in 2012.
Alison McGhee, a #1 New York Times best-selling author, writes for all ages and in all forms -- from poetry and stories to novels and picture books and essays. Her novel Shadow Baby was a Today Show Book Club pick and her picture book Someday was featured on NPR. Her many awards include four Minnesota Book Awards, the GLCA National Fiction Award, Friends of the American Library Award, Gold Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio Award, ALA Best Books for Children, Parents' Choice Award, and a City Pages Artist of the Year Award. McGhee’s other work includes the children’s books (Countdown to Kindergarten and Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth), the novels (Rainlight, Snap, Falling Boy, and Was it Beautiful) and the poetry book (Only a Witch Can Fly). She is an associate professor of creative writing at Metropolitan State University, where she coordinates the creative writing program. She recently teamed-up with award-winning author Kate DiCamillo to co-write a new young adult novel, Bink and Gollie (September 2010).
The author of several New York Times bestsellers, including Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and A Day Late and a Dollar Short, Terry McMillan has had immeasurable impact on African-American literature. Author of more than ten books, McMillan made her fiction debut with Mama, which won both the Doubleday New Voices in Fiction Award and the American Book Award. Her books have sold millions of copies throughout the world and been made into successful movies. Recipient of Essence Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award, McMillan's ability to capture the dilemmas facing modern-day women with humor and verve has led to a worldwide following. Her newest release, Getting to Happy (September 2010), revisits the four protagonists of Waiting to Exhale fifteen years later, each is at her own midlife crossroads, but still full of the same spirit and sass.
Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for the alternative, progressive folk band The Decemberists, based out of Portland, Oregon, debuts one of the most anticipated novels of the season, Under Wildwood. A sequel to the dark and popular Wildwood, Under Wildwood is filled with 85 intricate and beautiful illustrations in black-and-white and color by Meloy’s wife, Carson Ellis, who first rose to prominence as the artist who created The Decemberists’ album covers.
Local author and architectural historian Larry Millett has authored a dozen award-winning books on architecture and history. Millett’s popular Lost Twin Cities is the primary source for two documentaries on tpt of the same name and was honored with the American Institute of Architects International Book Award. He is also the author of the acclaimed Twin Cities Then and Now as well as several of American Institute of Architects (AIA) guides. In addition to his nonfiction books, Millett has written six mystery novels featuring Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson and saloonkeeper and part-time detective Shadwell Rafferty. His latest in the series is The Magic Bullet .
Walter Mosley is the author of 34 critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into more than 20 languages. He is the author of the New York Times best-sellers Known to Evil and The Long Fall, the now classic mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. Writer of literary fiction, short fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel, he has won numerous awards including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His most recent book, When the Thrill Is Gone, is his third mystery book featuring the iconic, charismatic Leonid McGill.
Since its first publication twenty years ago, The Things They Carried has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity and the limits of the human heart and soul. His first book, Going After Cacciato, received the 1979 National Book Award in fiction. His other works include the acclaimed novels Tomcat in Love, July, and In the Lake of the Woods, which received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was named the best novel of 1994 by Time. A native of Worthington, Minnesota and a graduate on Macalaester College, O’Brien now lives in Austin, Texas.
Local writer Jonathan Odell is the author of the acclaimed novel The View from Delphi, which deals with the struggle for racial equality in pre-civil rights Mississippi, his home state. His well-received new novel, The Healing, explores the subversive role that story plays in the healing of an oppressed people. Odell’s short stories and essays have been published in the Utne Reader, A View from the Loft, and Stories from the Blue Moon Café III, among other notable publications.
Stewart O’Nan is the acclaimed author of 13 novels, including A Prayer for the Dying, Songs for the Missing, Last Night at the Lobster and Snow Angels, which was made into a major motion picture in 2007. His latest work, The Odds: A Love Story, is a heartbreaking tale of a man and woman on the brink of divorce and bankruptcy, trying to determine whether the difficulty of the unknown outweighs the pain of the familiar. Named one of the twenty Best Young American Novelists by Granta, he also has written two works of nonfiction, The Circus Fire and Faithful (with Stephen King).
Nancy Pearl is the best-selling author of Book Lust, creator of the internationally recognized program, “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book,” and model for the world-famous "Librarian Action Figure.” Described as “the talk of librarian circles” by the New York Times, she has worked as a librarian and bookseller in Detroit, Tulsa, and Seattle. The former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book, Pearl is a regular commentator about books on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, has appeared on the Today Show, and hosts a monthly television program, “Book Lust with Nancy Pearl,” on the Seattle Channel. Named the 50th winner of the Women’s National Book Association Award for her extraordinary contribution to the world of books, Pearl’s other books include the Now Read This series, Book Crush: For Kids and Teens, and Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (September 2010).
Michael Perry is a humorist and author of the best-selling memoirs Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Truck: A Love Story and Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting, as well as the essay collection Off Main Street. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. He has performed and produced two live audience humor recordings (“I Got It From the Cows” and “Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow”) and he performs regularly with his band the Long Beds.
Known for his offbeat style and sense of humor, Mike Reiss was the head writer and producer for The Simpsons for over 20 years. Winner of four Emmys, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animation Writers Caucus, and a Peabody Award for his work, Reiss is also an award-winning novelist, children’s author, and screenplay writer. He has published fourteen children’s books, including the popular How Murray Saved Christmas and Late for School. In addition, his caveman detective short story, "Cro-Magnon P.I.," won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Co-writer of The Simpsons Movie and Ice Age 3, his other credits include work on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, ALF, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Reiss’s newest book, Just Too Cute! And Other Tales of Adorable Animals for Horrible Children, will be released in September 2010. For the Club Book events, Reiss will show clips from his animated work and discuss the difference in writing for print, screen, and television.
After receiving an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1971, David Rhodes published three acclaimed novels: The Last Fair Deal Going Down (1972), The Easter House (1974), and Rock Island Line(1975). In 1977, a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the chest down and unpublished for the subsequent three decades. In 2009, he released the highly-anticipated novel, Driftless, which won the Minnesota Book Sellers Choice Award for Fiction, as well as praise from reviewers from the Harvard Review, Chicago Tribune, Booklist, Kirkus, among others.
As WCCO-TV’s sports director, Mark Rosen has interviewed numerous Minnesotan sports heroes, including Kirby Puckett, Dave Winfield, Joe Mauer, and many more. From the “Miracle on Ice” to the Twins’ World Series triumphs to a range of high school athletics, Rosen has covered the most memorable Minnesota sports moments of the last four decades. His new book, Best Seat in the House: Mark Rosen’s Sports Moments and Minnesota Memories, gives the highlights from his 40-year career in sports broadcasting.
Author of five novels, including Egyptologist and The Song is You, Arthur Phillips was born in Minneapolis and educated at Harvard. He has been a child actor, a jazz musician, a speechwriter, a dismally failed entrepreneur, and a five-time Jeopardy champion. His first novel, Prague, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and received The Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for best first novel. As part of the Valley Reads program, Phillips will speak about his most recent novel, The Tragedy of Arthur, a novel about the discovery of what is reputed to be a lost Shakespeare play.
John Sandford is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and fiction writer, and author of the bestselling Virgil Flowers and Prey series. A prolific writer of both fiction and journalism, he received his first training as a reporter while working for an army paper in Korea and excelled in journalism, eventually coming to write for The St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a Midwestern farm crisis. Winner of many other distinguished awards since, his serial thrillers continue to be top sellers. Sanford will discuss his newest book in the Prey series, Silken Prey.
Julie Schumacher's first novel, The Body Is Water, was published in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Minnesota Book Award. Her other books include a short story collection, An Explanation for Chaos, and four books for younger readers: Black Box (2008), The Book of One Hundred Truths (2006), The Chain Letter (2005), and Grass Angel (2004). Her latest book for young adults, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls, is a humorous and touching examination of the love of literature, mother-daughter relationships, and friendships. Julie Schumacher lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.
Don Shelby is widely considered one of the best, and most decorated, local news anchors and reporters in the country. He has won three National Emmys, two George Foster Peabody Awards, the National Distinguished Service Award by the Society of Professional Journalists, the International Radio and Television News Directors Association’s First Place honors for International Investigative Reporting, among others. He retired from daily reporting and anchoring in November 2010, after forty-five years in the industry. Don Shelby’s book, The Season Never Ends: Wins, Losses, and Wisdom of the Court, is a compilation of 20 years worth of stories about pivotal and inspiring basket ball games, told with the grace and humor of a long-time basket ball, and storytelling, veteran.
Raised in Minnesota, Cheryl Strayed is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Wild, her memoir about a solo-trip along the Pacific Coast Trail. Chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0, the book has been optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon and has been published in more than 30 countries around the world. Her works also include the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel Torch. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue as well as The Best New American Voice. Strayed has written the "Dear Sugar" column on TheRumpus.net since March 2010.
One of Minnesota’s best loved writers, Faith Sullivan is the author of four novels set in the fictional town of Harvester, Minnesota: The Cape Ann, The Empress of One, What a Woman Must Do, and Gardenias. Devoted to her readers, Sullivan estimates that she has visited over 1,000 different book clubs to speak about her books. Sullivan has lived in Los Angeles and New York, and currently lives with her husband in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A finalist for several Minnesota Book Awards, she won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award.
Dr. David Walsh is the author of nine books, including the national best sellers Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen and No: Why Kids – of All Ages – Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It. Walsh’s positive parenting books help translate brain science into tips, tools, and resources for parents and professionals. Walsh received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota, where he is now on the faculty. He also serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization. He has been the recipient of many awards including the 1999 "Friend of the Family Award"presented by the Minnesota Council on Family Relations.
Larry Watson is the author of numerous books, including Montana 1948, Justice and White Crosses. His work has received prizes and awards from Milkweed Press, Friends of American Writers, Mountain and Plains Booksellers Association, New York Public Library, Wisconsin Library Association, Critics’ Choice, and The High Plains Book Award. His latest book, American Boy, won Booklist's Editor's Choice List of 2011 Best Books in both Adult Fiction and Adult Fiction for Young Adults. Watson taught writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for 25 years before joining the faculty at Marquette University in 2003 as a Visiting Professor.
Will Weaver is an acclaimed author of fiction for adults and young adults. His debut novel, Red Earth, White Earth, was produced as a CBS television movie in 1989. A Gravestone Made of Wheat & Other Stories won many awards, including the Minnesota Book Award for Fiction, and was adapted into the award-winning, independent feature film Sweet Land. He is the winner of both the McKnight and the Bush Foundation’s prizes for fiction. His popular motor series for young adults include Checkered Flag Cheater, Saturday Night Dirt, and Super Stock Rookie. His newest work, The Last Hunter (September 2010), is an examination of family, life on the land, and those things we hold dear enough to want to carry along, one generation to another.
Colson Whitehead is a prolific author, dynamic speaker, Pulitzer-Prize finalist, and Macarthur Fellow. His first novel, The Intuitionist, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award. John Henry Days, an investigation of the steel-driving man of American folklore, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. His other award-winning works include The Colossus of New York and Apex Hides the Hurt. His reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper's and Granta. His newest work, Sag Harbor (paperback release June 2010), explores the in-between space of adolescence through one boy's summer in a predominantly black Long Island neighborhood.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns, the New York Times bestseller and 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award winner. The book explores the migration of close to six million black Americans who left the South for uncertain futures in the North and West. Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of the New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She has appeared on national programs such as CBS’ 60 Minutes, PBS’s Charlie Rose, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, NBC’s Nightly News and C-SPAN.
Cathy Wurzer hosts Morning Edition on Minnesota Public Radio and co-hosts Almanac on Twin Cities Public Television. She has won four Emmy Awards, the Sigenthaler Award for broadcast reporting and an Associated Press Award for Investigative Reporting. She has worked as an anchor and reporter for WCCO-TV, a producer for KMSP-TV, and a political reporter for KSTP-AM radio. In addition to authoring Tales of the Road—Highway 61, she was the executive producer and host of the public television documentary by the same name that premiered in March of 2009. Her book won an award from the Midwest Independent Publisher's Association and the documentary won two Emmy Awards and a national Golden CINE award.