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06/19/2013 7:00 pm
With stories rooted in the wrenching events that bind one person to another--from a Scandinavian retiree arrested for hiring a prostitute, to a Korean adoptee seeing her adoptive father through his last days--Nick Healy plumbs the compromises and tragedies that underlie Minnesota Nice. Winner of a Many Voices Project award from New Rivers Press, It Takes You Over is Nick Healy’s first short story collection.
Readers were introduced to Nick Healy’s fiction when “And Other Delights” was chosen for the 2005 Speakeasy Prize from the Loft Literary Center/Speakeasy magazine. Since then, Healy’s stories have found an audience in the Midwest and across the country. A native of St. Paul, Healy now lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with his wife and their two children.
Set against the backdrop of Russian history from the time of Peter the Great to the years of the post-Soviet collapse, the nine stories in Vladimir's Mustache represent a rare feat of ventriloquism and range. From an Italian castrato who longs to sing for the tsar, to a method actor who learns the danger of losing himself in a role after he is cast as Hitler, to the men and women who meet through "mail order bride agencies, all of Stephan Eirik Clark's stories are told with a humor that's never far removed from an underlying sadness. Regardless of his where he situates his attention, Clark writes with a voice that never falters, telling with great emotional honesty the story of men and women who are trapped by circumstances, alienated by history, or irrevocably estranged from the culture at large.
Stephan Eirik Clark’s short stories and essays have appeared in more than twenty literary magazines, including Ninth Letter, Witness, and The Cincinnati Review, and been short-listed for the Fish Publishing Historical Fiction Prize and recognized in Best American Essays 2009 and 2010, among other honors. He is presently teaching at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
Helene Wecker talks to Colin about writing like a golem and finding truth in fiction
The banners have come down but the poems are still up. Online, that is. Read a new poem each week by all 12 finalists, from now until the end of summer.
My True Love, #3
What is true love?
Was it that first glance?
That was electrifying.
The first kiss had a touch of innocence.
The miracle of becoming one
and then our first child.
We walked hand in hand
visiting all the continents of the world.
Was this what they call true love?
After sixty-eight years of wedded life
to put my cheek on your cheek and say,
"I love you. We are growing old together."
At that moment
the depth of true love had meaning.
-Delores Mixer, 3rd place
Don't let free time get you down. Celebrate the end of school and start of summer with 15% off all children’s and young adult books from June 1st through the 30th.
06/20/2013 7:00 pm
Carleton College alum Helene Wecker returns to Minnesota to read from her first novel.
An immigrant tale that combines elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, Helene Wecker’s sparkling debut novel The Golem and the Jinni tells the story of two supernatural creatures who arrive separately in New York in 1899. The woman is a golem created out of clay in Poland by an aged dabbler in the dark Kabbalistic arts to be the wife of a man who then dies at sea, leaving her unmoored and adrift as the ship comes into New York harbor; the man is a jinni, a being of fire, who is trapped by a Bedouin wizard in a copper flask and released accidentally by a Syrian tinsmith in Lower Manhattan.
Wecker traces their journeys as they explore the strange human city. Chava, as a kindly old rabbi names her, is beset by human desires and wishes, which she can feel tugging at her; Ahmad, christened by the tinsmith who makes him his apprentice, is aggravated by human dullness. But they both work to make at least a temporary place for themselves in this new world, and develop tentative relationships with the people in their neighborhoods.
And then, one cold and windy night, their paths cross. Theirs is not exactly a romance, and at first they are hostile and suspicious, but they end up forming a strong bond, since only they can recognize each other for what they truly are.
Helene Wecker grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, a small town north of Chicago, and received her Bachelor’s in English from Carleton College in Minnesota. After graduating, she worked a number of marketing and communications jobs in Minneapolis and Seattle before deciding to return to her first love, fiction writing. Accordingly, she moved to New York to pursue a Master’s in fiction at Columbia University. She now lives near San Francisco with her husband and daughter. More information is available at www.helenewecker.com.
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