Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Fractured Land: The Price of Inheriting Oil by Lisa Westberg Peters begins with the passing of the author’s father and the questions his estate will raise:
“When my father dies, my mother will inherit his mineral rights. Eventually my siblings and I will inherit hers. At that point, I will benefit from drilling techniques that require millions of gallons of water, dozens of chemicals, some of them unknown even to regulators, and the safe disposal of toxic wastes.
It would make quite a headline:
Environmentalist Rakes in ND Oil Profits
And so I sit on an uncomfortable fence. On one side is a sea of oil that fouls beaches and birds and contributes to climate mayhem. On the other side is a sea of oil—my family’s oil!—that provides jobs for thousands of people, financial breathing room for my parents, and wealth for the long-suffering state of North Dakota.
Nope. You can see, I’m sure, how a hospice room is not exactly the place for that kind of discussion.
My dad sees the picture of an old North Dakota oil well—or it’s going to be an oil well as soon as they hit pay dirt—and does a thumbs-up.” –from Fractured Land
Join us this Thursday, October 9, at 7 pm at Common Good Books to hear Lisa Westberg Peters talk about the dilemma we all face–how our personal lives intersect with the energy industry and the environment–and her new book, Fractured Land.
Slouching Toward Fargo
A Two-Year Saga of Sinners and St. Paul Saints at the Bottom of the Bush Leagues with Bill Murray, Darryl Strawberry, Dakota Sadie, and Me
By Neal Karlen
With a Foreword by Mike Veeck
The Casey Award–winning account of life in the minor leagues, celebrating the game, the characters who love it, and the magic that can happen when a town, a team, and a ball player get a second chance.
Meet the author!
Tuesday September 16, 2014 at 7 pm
Subtext Bookstore, St. Paul
In his classic account of two years with the most audacious bush league ballclub ever to plumb the bottom of the pro sports barrel, Neal Karlen presents a dizzying collection of characters: co-owners comedian Bill Murray and sports impresario Mike Veeck; baseball’s former winningest pitcher Jack Morris; outfielder Darryl Strawberry, on his way back to the majors; the back-rubbing Sister Rosalind; baseball’s first woman player Ila Borders; frantic fans, a ball-carrying pig, a blind sportscaster, and a host of others. They all prove the credo of the Saints: Fun is Good.
“Hilarious, insightful, touching, informative, Neal Karlen’s baseball account delivers a world of vivid characters and ironic redemptions. Karlen is simply one of the best, most sophisticated, and literate practitioners of journalism we have. He goes out and gets the full story, while turning himself into a wonderfully self-mocking, truthful, and likable narrator. I loved every page of this book.”
—Phillip Lopate, author, essayist, and film critic
“Two things make it great: characters and story line. The tale is rendered in hilarious fashion, mixing plenty of baseball with plenty of laughs.”
—Rocky Mountain News
“A fun-is-good book . . . [with] enough oddballs to make Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland seem like a straightforward account of a schoolgirl’s visit to a theme park.”
“The funkiest team in baseball.”
—The New York Times
$17.95 paper, available September 2014
384 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4, 51 b&w photos, index, 978-0-87351-951-9
Available September 2014 from Minnesota Historical Society Press
The Hognander Minnesota History Award recognizes the most outstanding scholarly work related to Minnesota history published during the preceding two years. The award, funded by the Hognander Family Foundation, is presented every two years.
This award stems from the Hognander family’s belief in the importance of studying and preserving history. As Joe Hognander notes, “We established this award because of our relationship with the Minnesota Historical Society. Its commitment to excellence is noteworthy in promoting scholarly research and writing. We hope this award will inspire more activity by recognizing and rewarding the finest work in the field.”
Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the 1862 U.S.–Dakota War and the resulting exile that sent the majority of the Dakota to prisons and reservations beyond the state’s boundaries. But the true depth of the devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their deep cultural connection to the land that is Minnesota. Drawing on oral history interviews, archival work, and painstaking comparisons of Dakota, French, and English sources, Mni Sota Makoce tells the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands for at least hundreds of years prior to exile.
Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2012, the book went on to win the 2013 Minnesota Book Award in the Minnesota category last year.
Westerman and White will be honored for their latest achievement at the upcoming Book Awards Gala on April 5 at the Saint Paul Union Depot. Gwen Westerman is professor of English and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Bruce White is author of We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People.
When Prohibition shuttered saloons, thirsty law-abiding citizens turned to soda fountains for sustenance and entertainment. Parlor owners developed concoctions to suit every taste—and to keep their counters and tables full.
Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition (a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award) gives readers a taste of this turbulent time, and a few recipes for romance.
Excerpt from Soda Shop Salvation:
Love at the Soda Shop
“The soda fountain often plays an important part in fanning the flame of love . . . Many fountain owners are finding there is a great demand for drinks with names like kiss me again, some day, soul kiss, lover’s delight [. . .] what better could quicken a bashful lover than to have his coy companion say I would like a soul kiss wouldn’t you, John?” —The Soda Fountain, December 1921
Cupid Delight Sundae
1 (1/2-inch) slice vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons crushed pineapple
3 cubes canned or fresh pineapple
4 maraschino cherries
3 tablespoons crushed strawberries
2 Thin Walnut Wafers (see book for recipe)
Cut the ice cream in half across the long edge and place the two slices side by side on a plate. Pour the crushed pineapple over one slice and top with the pineapple cubes arranged in a circle with 1 cherry in the center. Pour the strawberries over the other ice cream slice and arrange the remaining 3 cherries in a circle on top of it. Put the wafers on the side and serve with two spoons.
1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) strawberry syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon heart-shaped candies
Put the ice cream in a sundae dish and pour the syrup over the top. Sprinkle with the cinnamon candies.
1 large scoop maple nut ice cream
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae Sauce
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
whipped cream for topping
walnut-stuffed date for garnish
Put the ice cream in a sundae dish. Drizzle with the chocolate sauce and sprinkle with coconut. Top with whipped cream and garnish with the stuffed date.
“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, while the young woman’s fancy yearningly turns to ice cream sodas. Better cater to her fancy.” —The Soda Fountain, March 1921
Minnesota Historical Society Press Spring 2014 Titles
Augie’s Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip (Paperback, February 2014)
The Brides of Midsummer (First English Translation, February 2014)
When I Was a Child: An Autobiographical Novel (February 2014)
Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement (March 2014)
Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge (April 2014)
Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research (April 2014)
Edited by Bruce Joshua Miller
Conflicted Mission: Faith, Disputes, and Deception on the Dakota Frontier (April 2014)
Linda M. Clemmons
Hungry Johnny (May 2014)
Cheryl Minnema, Illustrations by Wesley Ballinger
Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s (May 2014)
Kate Roberts and Adam Scher
Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop (May 2014)
Smitten with Squash (July 2014)
A signed book makes a great gift! Meet some of our authors at these delightful indie venues, and get a signed book for everyone on your holiday list.
Saturday December 14
Sunday December 15
6:00 pm Neal Karlen shares his book Augie’s Secrets at Grand Cafe in Minneapolis as part of their Fork in Forum progam ($45 and requires reservation)
Wednesday December 18
Saturday December 21
Sunday December 22
Local foods have garnered much attention in recent years, but the concept is hardly new: indigenous peoples have always made the most of nature’s gifts. Their menus were truly the “original local,” celebrated here in 135 home-tested recipes paired with stories from tribal activists, food researchers, families, and chefs.
Heid E. Erdrich shares family and community recipes in her new cookbook, Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest.
Join us tomorrow, Friday, November 22, at 7 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (1917 Logan Avenue South) in Minneapolis at the book launch hosted by Birchbark Books to sample recipes from the book prepared by Chef Jason Champagne.
Click here for more info, recipes, and interviews with Heid!
Patricia Hampl calls Leaving Rollingstone “the most important memoir to come out of the Midwest (or anywhere) in years, an indispensable work of American autobiography.”
When people learned that I was publishing a memoir, some of them asked me: Are you old enough to write a memoir? My first impulse was to tell them that a) I am fifty-four and that b) when cardiologists see me, they often weep with despair. So, yes, I’m old enough. Then I realized that “Are you old enough to write a memoir?” is a polite way of asking their real question, “Are you famous enough to write a memoir?” To them, the word “memoir” triggers a very particular set of associations. Memoirs are written by those of us who’ve waged wars, negotiated peace, cured diseases, transformed societies, or, at the very least, married a Kardashian. Regular people do not write memoirs. I might as well have told them, “I’m thinking of having a statue made of myself. Know any good parks where I can put it?”
But I’d argue that what’s been called the literary memoir — in other words, a memoir by someone who is unexceptional except for their ability to write about their experience — is essential and valuable. The advent of the literary memoir is an extension of some big trends in literature and the humanities. We have moved from writing about God in the bible to writing about kings in Shakespeare to writing about regular people in the novels of George Eliot and Charles Dickens. In fact, we read novels precisely because we believe that a human life which might otherwise be unnoticed by history is worthy of attention. It’s not that big of a jump to care about real people.
The word “memoir” itself doesn’t do me any favors. It does, after all, start off with me, which tends to reinforce the perception of narcissism that surrounds the genre. But good literary memoirs aren’t just about their author. They are about that portion of history which the author has witnessed. They are about the estuary where larger historical trends mingle with the individual human life. No other genre can give us the particular insights that come from that intersection.
If Leaving Rollingstone were just about me, it would be a very different book. In the book, there are four lines about the most traumatic romantic relationship of my life — a relationship which left debris strewn over an entire decade — and there are about twenty lines about Spirographs. There’s a single brief flashback acknowledging four happy years at Beloit College — and an essay-length meditation on a book I read in 1995 and didn’t much care for. (It illuminated the book’s themes.) Leaving Rollingstone is about me but it’s also about family farms, small towns, and Catholic schools and their surprising legacies.
It’s useful to replace “literary memoir” with “personal history.” “Literary memoir” has always bothered me because it over-emphasizes the aesthetic. In its sometimes impressionistic way, my memoir was history. It spoke to the closing of schools, the loss of farms, the distinctiveness of a culture, and the influence of a zeitgeist. It spoke for a particular place and time and, most importantly, for particular people. If a president talks smack in his memoir about his secretary of state, the secretary probably has some recourse. But my record of my parents and friends and neighbors in Rollingstone is probably the only extensive record that will be left of their lives.
So while I wrote with the fallibility of personal witness, and the urge to create a shapely story, I evolved some rules for myself. First, you don’t have to be a neurologist to know that memory is tricky. I tried to write in a way that reflected that understanding without belaboring it. With the exceptions of some particularly vivid memories, I tried to report routines rather than events and ongoing impressions rather than momentary experiences; I tried to make it clear when I was passing on anecdotes which might have been rubbed smooth by retelling. I included very little dialogue and flagged the dialogue I did include as conjecture. When I presumed to record what my mom and dad might have been thinking on a particular morning, I used language that made it clear I was making an educated guess.
And you don’t have to be a French theorist to know that, even if memory is a perfect record of the past, human speech is twisted by our relentless agendas and alibis and limited by what Frank Bidart called our “proximate and partial” relation to truth. Given this, I tried to understand the perspective of others and to perforate my own self-justification. I tried to get the main historical facts right. Another way of saying all this is that I tried to act like a grown-up. And that brings me back to the question I started with. Am I old enough to write a memoir? The answer is yes, but just barely.
Enjoy free admission on Saturday September 28 from 12 noon to 4:00 pm at the Minnesota History Center during Circles of Tradition Dakota/Ojibwe Family Day featuring speakers and artists from the Dakota and Ojibwe communities who will share traditions of their rich and vibrant history. Visitors can enjoy music, dancing, demonstrations, displays, language exchange, games and art activities.
Powwow Summer authors Marcie Rendon and Cheryl Walsh Bellville will share their book, see details, below.
This program is offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian Museums Day Live! -an annual free admission event.
Schedule of Events:
Levels 1 & 4
Ojibwe and Dakota artifacts from the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections
Play “Splat” and learn Dakota words and place names with Dakota Wicohan (Noon, 1:00, 2:00 pm)
Decorate a fabric shoulder bag inspired by the designs and symbols of traditional Ojibwe bandolier bags
Traditional Dakota songs, dancing, and drumming with Cansa’yapi Oyate (Redwood People) featuring the Lucio Family Dance Troupe (12:30 & 3:00 pm)
Birchbark demo with artist Pat Kruse, a member of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe
In Focus: Photography display created by the History Center’s American Indian Teen Portrait Project
Beadwork demo with Walter LaBatte, an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Play “Name that Otunwe” (city or place) with Jewell Arcoren (Sisseton/Sicangu) an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe
Ask the Curator!
Learn about the Society’s collection of Dakota and Ojibwe artifacts with independent curator, Marcia Anderson. (1:00-3:00 pm)
Powwow Summer authors Marcie Rendon and Cheryl Walsh Bellville share photos and stories from their book (1:30 &2:30 pm on the Paul Bunyan stage)
In the summer of 1863, nearly simultaneous Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg marked the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. Their forces never regained enough strength to seriously threaten the North.
For information on programs and events commemorating the 150th anniversaries of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, please visit the Minnesota Historical Society’s Minnesota and the Civil War Programs and Resources page.
Two MHS Press authors will share their Civil War research next week at the Minnesota History Center and James J. Hill House:
Monday July 1, 7:00 p.m.
Minnesota History Center
Last Full Measure: Remembering the First Minnesota at Gettysburg
A special lecture in honor of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg with author and historian Richard Moe.
Richard Moe is the author of Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers and the new short e-book excerpted from Last Full Measure, The First Minnesota Volunteers at Gettysburg: The 150th Anniversary ($1.99).
$12 ($10 MHS members) Tickets here.
Wednesday July 3, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
James J. Hill House
Surviving the Civil War
Enjoy Civil War Scholarship, fashion, music and presentations by John Lundstrom, author of One Drop in a Sea of Blue: The Liberators of the Ninth Minnesota.
$12 ($10 MHS members) Tickets here.
Below is a list of our other Civil War related titles:
Minnesota and the Civil War: The War That Touched Us All e-book short by Annette Atkins. ($1.99)
Brother of Mine: The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie Edited by Hamton Smith
Go If You Think It Your Duty: A Minnesota Couple’s Civil War Letters Edited by Andrea R. Foroughi
Brackett’s Battalion: Minnesota Cavalry in the Civil War and Dakota War By Kurt D. Bergemann
Minnesota in the Civil War: An Illustrated History By Kenneth Carley
Pale Horse at Plum Run: The First Minnesota at Gettysburg By Brian Leehan
This Business of War: Recollections of a Civil War Quartermaster By William G. Le Duc, Foreword by Adam E. Scher
No More Gallant a Deed: A Civil War Memoir of the First Minnesota Volunteers By James A. Wright, edited by Steven J. Keillor