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Complete Schedule | Readings & Talks | Panel discussions | Morning Mixer
Children's Pavilion | back to Main Festival Page

2011 Twin Cities Book Festival
Guest Authors

As always, we’re proud to introduce Twin Cities readers
to a variety of authors from around the writing world!
Click here for the schedule and room assignments.

* Starred events will be ASL interpreted. Click here for the ASL flyer!

Readings and Talks


A popular contributor to National Public Radio and magazines like Ms. and Vogue, Diana Abu-Jaber has won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the American Book Award, and many other prizes. Her books include an acclaimed culinary memoir, The Language of Baklava, and the novels Origin, Crescent, and Arabian Jazz, which The New Yorker called “an oracular first novel.” Her latest novel, Birds of Paradise, is an Indie Books Pick, and has been dubbed “a stunning portrayal of a damaged family” by Publishers Weekly. At its core it is the story of a teenage runaway, but Birds of Paradise tackles many contemporary issues, from the housing market to the food industry. This lyrical new novel will thrill Abu-Jaber’s existing readers and win her many, many more. (10:30 am, Taxi Room)

“Diana Abu-Jaber is a high-spirited, magnificently graceful storyteller, a poet of deliciously fluted fiction, character, and culture, and her work is needed now, now, now.”
     —Naomi Shihab Nye

“Abu-Jaber works Proustian charms on the reader.”
     —Pamela Constable, Washington Post Book World

Click here to download a flyer for this event!


An acclaimed poet, essayist, and novelist, Tess Gallagher joins us to read from Midnight Lantern, a generous collection of new and selected poems published by the Twin Cities’ own Graywolf Press. Gallagher’s literary career spans almost forty years and more than twenty books. An early work, Instructions to the Double, mixes confession and abstract surrealism, and won the 1976 Elliston Book Award; another well-known book, Moon Crossing Bridge, is a collection of sixty poems that examine the poet’s grief over the death of her husband Raymond Carver, who passed away in 1988.

Born in Port Angeles, Washington, Gallagher received a BA and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. Her many honors include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, two National Endowment for the Arts awards, and the Maxine Cushing Gray Foundation Award. (3:30 pm, Taxi Room)

“Gallagher's poems, beyond their delicacy of language, have a delicacy of perception, and the capacity to see oneself objectively as another person doing the things one really does, with clear affection and natural concern.”
     —Hayden Carruth

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All horse racing metaphors aside, 2010 National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon is a remarkable stylist whose work is challenging the paradigm of small-press obscurity. As Lord of Misrule reasons in its epigraph, without such high-stakes competition, “The game would perish.”

Gordon’s writing career spans over forty years and encompasses three previous novels: Shamp of the City-Solo, She Drove Without Stopping, and Bogeywoman. Her short fiction, poems, essays, and translations have appeared in magazines such as Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, and many other places, as well as in Best American Short Stories. She has received grants and fellowships from numerous organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts. Gordon, who lives in Kalamazoo, teaches creative writing at Western Michigan University and in the Prague Summer Program for Writers. (12:30 pm, Taxi Room)

“In Lord of Misrule, Jaimy Gordon creates nothing less than her own American idiom, as her unerring eye and ear capture the rhythms of the racetrack, serving up more poetry, comedy and mystery than you could imagine. Maggie is a heroine every bit as irresistible as her sister Ursie in Bogeywoman, and Lord of Misrule exhibits the same exuberant linguistic genius that makes Jaimy Gordon a true American original.”
     —Mary Caponegro, author of All Fall Down

Click here to download a flyer for this event!

photo by Jeff Goodman


According to Michael Chabon, Ben Katchor is "the creator of the last great American comic strip” (Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer). His comics have appeared in Slate, the New Yorker, and the New York Times, among many other places. In addition to the Julius Knipl books, he is the author of The Jew of New York, Cheap Novelties, and his new book, The Cardboard Valise—which comes with handles!

In 1993, Katchor was profiled for the New Yorker by another guest at this year’s Festival, Lawrence Weschler. He was the subject of Pleasures of Urban Decay, a documentary by Samuel Ball, and was the first cartoonist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. Katchor has won an Obie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. (2:30 pm, Taxi Room)

“Ben Katchor is the most poetic, deeply layered artist ever to draw a comic strip.”
     —The New York Times Book Review

“Katchor . . . has been doing for comics what Proust did for the novel.”
     —The New Yorker

“Katchor . . . does what every great artist does: clarifies things you knew but didn't know you knew, or didn't know how to articulate. Spend some time with his work, and then take a walk.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Comic Art Program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Click here to download a flyer for this event!


A former resident of the Twin Cities for many years, N. M. Kelby is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Whale Season, In the Company of Angels, and Theater of the Stars, as well as the story collection A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts and a writer’s guidebook, The Constant Art of Being a Writer. Her short stories have appeared in many publications including Zoetrope All-Story, Minnesota Monthly, and The Mississippi Review. Her newest novel, White Truffles in Winter, imagines the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), who changed how we eat through his legendary restaurants at the Savoy and the Ritz; depicting the sensuality of food and love amid a world on the verge of war, this work shimmers with beauty and longing. Kelby has received many awards and fellowships, including a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and a Bush Foundation Fellowship. She currently lives in Minneapolis. (10:30 am, Taxi Room)

"Kelby is a natural-born storyteller who manages to be very funny and very wise at the same time."
     —Carl Hiaason

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A giant among contemporary thinkers, Steven Pinker has taught at Stanford, MIT, and is currently the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received six honorary doctorates, several teaching awards, and numerous prizes for his books, which include The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Stuff of Thought. He is the Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for The New Republic, The New York Times, and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year for his contributions to public understanding of human evolution and is listed in Foreign Policy and Prospect magazine's "The World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals" and in Time magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today." He joins us at the Twin Cities Book Festival to discuss his most recent book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. (11:30 am, Taxi Room)

“Stephen Pinker reminds us of the pleasures of reading about language, provided people like him are at the wheel.”
     —William F. Buckley, Jr.

Click here to download a flyer for this event!


Born and bred in Minnesota—he attended high school in Mound and Minnesota State University Moorhead—actor Kevin Sorbo has appeared on the hit television shows The O.C., Psych, and Two and a Half Men, among other shows and films. But he is best known for the title role in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, which ran from 1995 to 1999. Amidst the height of Hercules’s popularity, Sorbo developed an aneurysm that led to three strokes. Because he was playing the world’s strongest man, Sorbo’s frailty was covered up, but as he struggled to recover physically he also suffered from depression. Now his new memoir, True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal—and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life, tells a story of transformation, persistence, and hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Sorbo reflects on his childhood in Minnesota and his acting days in Hollywood, and recounts the onset of his symptoms, his frightening hospitalization, and his arduous path to recovery. With this honest account of personal tragedy and triumph, Sorbo aims to blaze a trail for those who have ever suffered a serious setback in life and are now struggling to find their way back. Still an actor as well as an author, Sorbo is a spokesman for Dixon Golf, an eco-friendly golf company, and the chair of A World Fit for Kids, a non-profit organization that trains teenagers to become mentors to younger children. (1:30 pm, Taxi Room)

Click here to download a flyer for this event!


Gary Tillery will delight fans of spirituality and The Beatles alike with a multimedia presentation combining his two most recent works, The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon, and Working-Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison. Where most biographies focus on the music, drug use, and pop-icon status of The Beatles, Tillery’s books focus on Lennon’s and Harrison’s spiritual awakenings. In Cynical Idealist, Tillery uses Lennon’s lyrics, writings, and published interviews to paint a portrait of a man beholden to a philosophy that was both idealistic and pragmatic. In Working-Class Mystic, he offers a truthful account of Harrison’s journey from blue-collar roots to music superstar to a world famous spiritual icon. (11:30 am, Rain Room)

After serving in Vietnam with the United States Air Force, Tillery earned a BA in History and a Masters in Business. After a twenty-year career in advertising, he decided to devote himself fulltime to his love of art and literature. In addition to his books on Harrison and Lennon, he has written Darkling Plain, a book of interrelated short stories set in Vietnam, and two humorous “soft-boiled” detective novels, Death, Be Not Loud and To An Aesthete Dying Young.

“Tillery has justified his addition to the Lennon bookshelf by producing a readable and entertaining history.”
     —Britt Aamodt, Rain Taxi Review of Books

“With the publication of Working Class Mystic, Gary Tillery and Quest Books have done a real service to the legacy of George Harrison as an artist of enduring value and man whose ideals remain timeless.”
     —David Amram, composer and author of Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac

Click here to download a flyer for this event!


Among our nation’s most prominent essayists, Lawrence Weschler is the author of many books, including Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, Vermeer in Bosnia, and A Wanderer in the Perfect City. His Everything that Rises received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, and his Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. He is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award, once each for Cultural and Magazine Reporting, and was also a recipient of a Lannan Literary Award, among other honors. Shuttling between cultural comedies and political tragedies, Weschler’s essays are acclaimed for their unique insight into whatever he examines, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Weschler’s latest book is Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative, which collects the best of his narrative nonfiction from the past fifteen years. With his signature style and endless ability to wonder, Weschler proves yet again that the “world is strange, beautiful, and connected” (The Globe and Mail). Uncanny Valley demonstrates his matchless ability to analyze the marvels he finds in places and people and offers us a new, sublime way of seeing the world. (1:30 pm, Rain Room)

“Weschler's essays are exquisitely written—so perfectly and unobtrusively organized that one can't imagine telling them a better way.”
     —New York Times Book Review

Click here to download a flyer for this event!


Described by Dennis Lehane as “the least-known major writer in the country right now,” Daniel Woodrell is the author of eight novels, including Winter’s Bone, which was made into a critically acclaimed film last year, and The Bayou Trilogy, a collection comprising three earlier novels which recently made President Obama’s summer reading list. Five of Woodrell’s books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. His work belongs to a genre that Woodrell himself has named country noir; riveting and suspenseful, these books plumb the depths of the human condition through the lives of troubled yet relatable characters. His latest book is The Outlaw Album, his first collection of short fiction but a fitting addition to his body of work about those on the fringes of society. After dropping out of high school to join the Marines, Woodrell returned to formal education and eventually earned an MFA at the Iowa Writers Workshop. He lives in the Missouri Ozarks with his wife, the novelist Katie Estill. (12:30 pm, Taxi Room)

“The pages snap, crackle, and pop. Woodrell's writing reminds me of the late, great John D. MacDonald, the kind of keen eye for the local detail, but he walks his own walk and talks his own talk.”
     —Barry Gifford

“The music coming from Woodrell’s banjo cannot be confused with the sounds of any other writer.”
     —Donald Harington, Atlanta Journal Constitution

“What people say about Cormac McCarthy . . . goes double for Woodrell. Possibly more.”
     —New York Magazine

Click here to download a flyer for this event!

Panel Discussions

     Three great panels bring local authors to the fore!

Telling Our Stories: Minnesota Memoirs

Although Minnesotans share some common experience of place, we all have unique outlooks, occupations, and obstacles. At this panel, six local writers with new memoirs will discuss the challenges they encountered in converting their personal life stories, good times and bad, into books with universal applicability and appeal. (2:30 pm, Rain Room)

Click here to download a flyer for this event!

Patricia Hampl (moderator)

Patricia Hampl’s most recent book is The Florist’s Daughter, winner of numerous “best” and “year end” awards, including the New York Times “100 Notable Books of the Year” and the 2008 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime, published in 2006 and now in paperback, was also one of the Times Notable Books; a portion was chosen for The Best Spiritual Writing 2005. She is the author as well of two collections of poetry, Woman before an Aquarium, and Resort and Other Poems. And she has published Spillville, a meditation on Antonin Dvorak's 1893 summer in Iowa, with engravings by Steven Sorman. Virgin Time, about her Catholic upbringing and an inquiry into contemplative life, is available in a recent paperback.

Martin Kihn

Emmy-nominated writer Martin Kihn, a former writer and fact-checker for Spy magazine, has had a successful career as a satirical writer. His articles have appeared in GQ, Vibe, The Huffington Post, and Forbes, among many other print publications. Showtime will be airing a series inspired by his first book, House of Lies, and his second book, A$$HOLE: How I Got Rich & Happy By Not Giving a Damn About Anyone, was picked up for film development by Warner Studios. His latest book, Bad Dog: A Love Story, is a bold departure from his popular style; instead it candidly takes up how Kihn, struggling with alcoholism and a collapsing marriage, decides to train his faithful dog, Hola, and earn a Canine Good Citizen certification from the American Kennel Club. A touching, funny memoir about personal crisis and the transformation of both man and dog, this book is appealing on many levels.

“This tale of a man who forgot he was a man and the dog who ultimately reminded him is the most touching, original buddy story I’ve come across in ages. Sit. Stay. Read.”
     —Walter Kirn

Paul Metsa

An accomplished musician and songwriter, Paul Metsa has received seven Minnesota Music Awards and has shared the stage with Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen. His songwriting has been called “American street poetry” by The Austin Chronicle and “terrific heartland-style folk-rock” by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Metsa invites us into his life as a musician in his new book, Blue Guitar Highway, in which he chronicles everything from his life as a child on the Iron Range, to playing the stages of Minneapolis in the mid-eighties, to traveling to Iceland and Serbia for festivals—all the while never sparing the gritty details of the ups-and-downs of life as a professional musician.

“Paul Metsa is a natural-born writer . . . Lyrics, letters, articles all flow out of him like an exotic, ferocious waterfall splashing down on all senses. If he writes it, I read it.”
     —Nora Guthrie

Nancy Paddock

Born in St. Paul, Nancy Paddock now lives and gardens in Litchfield, Minnesota. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, and her book Trust the Wild Heart was a finalist for the 2006 Minnesota Book Award. Paddock has worked for the American Farm Project, which engaged young farmers in humanities-based discussions about land and environment, and for the Minnesota-based Land Stewardship Project, an organization dedicated to sustainable and environmentally sound agriculture. In connection with that work, she wrote two environmental plays and, with her husband Joe Paddock and Carol Bly, co-authored Soil and Survival: Land Stewardship and the Future of American Agriculture. Her latest book, A Song at Twilight: Of Alzheimer's and Love, was aptly summed up by the Star Tribune as “an intensely personal and heart-shattering memoir about being a caretaker for her parents as they descend into the murky landscapes of Alzheimer’s and depression.”

A Song at Twilight knocks you over and rips your heart out, then sets you back on your feet again, determined to make the most of every moment you have, especially every moment that’s filled with love.”
     —Freya Manfred

Theresa Weir

A USA Today bestselling novelist, Theresa Weir has had success under the pen names Theresa Weir and Anne Frasier. Spanning the genres of paranormal, romantic suspense, mystery, and thriller, her novels have been nominated numerous times for major awards. Weir won a RITA Award for Cool Shade and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Bad Karma. Her books have received praise from Publishers Weekly and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, among many other publications. Her latest book, The Orchard, is a poignant and charming memoir that skillfully moves through the struggle of growing up in an abusive household and then marrying into a Midwestern farm family.

The Orchard is a lovely book in all the ways that really matter, one of those rare and wonderful memoirs in which people you’ve never met become your friends. I read it in a single sitting, lost in the story, and by the time I put it down, I was amazed by Weir’s ability to evoke such genuine emotion.”
     —Nicholas Sparks

Mary Rondeau Westra

Author Mary Rondeau Westra’s writing career began after a life-changing event: her son, Peter, was murdered outside of a club in Atlantic City while attending a friend’s bachelor party. As a way to cope, she wrote in journals about what she was experiencing, and later took classes at the Loft Literary Center. From there, it became her personal mission to tell her story in the spirit of compassion. Eight years after Peter’s death, Westra’s book, After the Murder of My Son, now seeks to help other parents who lost their children to violence. Westra grew up in Northeast Minneapolis, attended Macalester College, and taught French for eight years before becoming a stay-at-home mom and an active community volunteer.

“In Mary Westra’s story of heartbreak and hope, all of us can see the fragility, the strength, and the love that informs our own lives.”
     —Jeffrey Zaslow

This Must Be The Place: Representing Minnesota

Our state is well known for its local pride, but what does it really mean for an artist to represent where they live? Six published authors from different genres—a poet, a novelist, a cartoonist, a photographer, and a young adult author—will grapple with how they converted the local places we know well into iconic scenes meant for readers anywhere. (12:30 pm, Rain Room)

Click here to download a flyer for this event!

Laurie Hertzel (moderator)

Laurie Hertzel grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, where she fell into journalism after taking a job as a clerk at the Duluth News-Tribune. Hertzel lives in St. Paul and works for the Minneapolis Star Tribune as the books editor. Hertzel is the author of News To Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist, winner of the Reader's Choice Award at the 2011 Minnesota Book Awards. She has been a fellow at Duke University, a writer-in-residence at the James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio, and a faculty member and speaker at the Nieman Conferences on Narrative Writing and Editing at Harvard. Hertzel has reported from Russia and Cuba. Her work has appeared in literary and academic journals, the Chicago Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, Minnesota Monthly magazine, and many other publications.

Kevin Cannon

Minneapolis cartoonist Kevin Cannon illustrates nonfiction comics by day and indie comix by night, and is co-owner of the acclaimed comic studio Big Time Attic. While BTA’s work centers on science and history—their latest release is Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth—Cannon’s own work stays closer to home. His latest book is Pond Hockey, a children’s book featuring the popular winter pastime of the title, and he has drawn comix for City Pages based on local landscapes and events; his 2008 "Xcape from Xcel" cartoon won a first place Page One Award, and his 2010 “Comix Issue” cover made the Society of Publication Designers’ list of the ten best alt-weekly covers of 2010.

Steve Healey

Steve Healey is the author of the 2010 poetry collection 10 Mississippi, which takes the famed river and its numerous cultural tributaries as a guiding theme, as well as a previous collection titled Earthling (which goes a bit beyond Minnesota’s boundaries as the title suggests). Healey has published poems in numerous magazines, including American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Fence, and Jubilat, and in anthologies, including Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. His essays and criticism have appeared in the Writer’s Chronicle and Rain Taxi. He lives in Minneapolis and teaches at MCTC.

Wing Young Huie

Wing Young Huie’s photographic projects document the dizzying socioeconomic and cultural realities of American society, much of it centered on his home state of Minnesota. Whether in epic public installations or international museum exhibitions, he creates up-to-the-minute societal mirrors of who we are, seeking to reveal not only what is hidden, but also what is plainly visible and seldom noticed. His most well known works—Frogtown (1995), Lake Street USA (2000), and The University Avenue Project (2010), produced by Public Art Saint Paul—transformed Twin Cities’ urban areas into public photo galleries, reflecting the everyday lives of thousands of its citizens in the midst of some of the most diverse concentrations of international immigrants in the country.

Susan Niz

Susan Niz has been a finalist in the Loft Mentor Series Competition in both fiction and nonfiction, has a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota, and was recently inducted into the MCTC Alumni Hall of Fame. She has been nominated for the Million Writer's Award for Best Writing of the Web. Her debut YA novel, Kara, Lost, details the perilous journey of a teenager who flees the comforts of suburbia for a gritty, anonymous existence on the streets of Minneapolis.

Danielle Sosin

Danielle Sosin is the author of the recent novel The Long-Shining Waters, which was awarded the Milkweed Fiction Prize, was a Midwest Connections pick, and was called "the first great novel of Lake Superior—and its many ghosts" by Minnesota Monthly. She is also the author of Garden Primitives, a collection of stories, and her fiction has been recorded for National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story and Iowa Public Radio’s Live From Prairie Lights. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Mary Rockcastle, originally scheduled to take part in this panel, will be away on family business.

featuring Mystery Writers of America

Six mystery and thriller authors, all members of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter, will discuss the most important elements of craft within their particular genre. Where do they troll for ideas? What kind of research is required before sitting down to write? How do they fashion twists and turns, suspense and thrills? And how do they sleep at night? Join this fascinating and enlightening conversation between some of the best mystery writers in the business. (10:30 am, Rain Room)

Click here to download a flyer for this event!

Raymond Benson (Moderator)

Raymond Benson is the author of over twenty-five books. His most recent thriller is The Black Stiletto. Its sequel, The Black Stiletto: Black & White, will be published May 2012. Raymond was the fourth official author, and first American, to pen James Bond novels, and his 007 work is collected in the recent anthologies Choice Of Weapons and The Union Trilogy. His “rock ‘n’ roll thriller,” Dark Side Of The Morgue, was a Shamus nominee for Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel of 2009. Raymond is also a prolific media tie-in writer, the most recent work being Homefront: The Voice Of Freedom (co-written with John Milius).

Erin Hart

Erin Hart writes archaeological/forensic crime novels set in the mysterious boglands of Ireland. Before straying into crime fiction, Erin worked as an editor, copywriter, journalist, and theater critic. Her debut novel, Haunted Ground, won the Friends of American Writers Award and Romantic Times’ Best First Mystery, was shortlisted for the Anthony and Agatha awards, and was translated into eleven foreign languages. The sequel, Lake Of Sorrows, was shortlisted for a Minnesota Book Award, and False Mermaid, third in the series, was named one of the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2010 by ALA/Booklist. Erin and her husband, Irish button accordionist Paddy O’Brien, live in Saint Paul and travel frequently to Ireland.

Sujata Massey

Sujata Massey is the author of a mystery series featuring Rei Shimura, a Japanese-American detective. The ten-volume series has won the Agatha and Macavity Awards and been nominated for the Anthony, Edgar, and Mary Higgins Clark Awards. Sujata is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and a longtime Baltimore, Maryland, resident who currently lives in Minneapolis, where she combines writing with raising her two children. She has recently completed a historical novel set in pre-WW2 India and is at work on another novel about the birth of India’s film industry.

Julie Kramer

Investigative television journalist Julie Kramer writes a series of thrillers—including Stalking Susan, Missing Mark, Silencing Sam and Killing Kate—set in the desperate world of TV news. Julie won the Minnesota Book Award as well as RT Reviewer’s Choice for Best First Mystery. Her work has also been nominated for the Anthony, Barry, Shamus, Mary Higgins Clark, and Daphne du Maurier Awards. She formerly ran the I TEAM for WCCO-TV before becoming a freelance network news producer.

Michael Allan Mallory

Michael Allan Mallory writes the Snake Jones Zoo Mystery series with Marilyn Victor. Death Roll, published in 2007, introduced mystery’s first zoologist sleuth and revealed what goes on behind the exhibits of a major metropolitan zoo. Killer Instinct, published earlier this year, sends zookeeper Lavender “Snake” Jones to the North Woods of Minnesota to investigate a wild wolf killing and double murder. Michael’s short stories have appeared in several mystery anthologies.

Carl Brookins

Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a freelance photographer, a public TV program director, a cable TV administrator, and a faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul. He has reviewed mystery fiction for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and for Mystery Scene Magazine, and he can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave. Carl writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney, the Sean Sean private investigator detective series, and the Jack Marston academic series. He has six novels in print along with a number of short stories and several e-books also in circulation.

Morning Mixer: 10:00–10:30 am

Kick off the day by chatting with some local luminaries about their new releases! As usual, we set aside this time to focus on authors published by out-of-state presses. Books will be available for purchase, and authors will be happy to sign them. Authors appearing include:

Brian Bellmont, Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?
Maria Damon, Postliterary America
Kevin Fenton, Merit Badges
Peter Geye, Safe From the Sea
Pete Hautman, The Big Crunch
Geoff Herbach, Stupid Fast
Rae Meadows, Mothers and Daughters
Scott F. Parker, Coffee—Philosophy for Everyone: Grounds for Debate
Jacob Wheeler, Between Light and Shadow
Stephen Wilbers, A Boundary Waters History
Patricia Wrede, Across the Great Barrier

Also joining us are several winners of this year's Minnesota Book Awards, including:

Lightsey Darst, Find the Girl
Laurie Hertzel, News to Me
John Reimringer, Vestments
Wendy Webb, The Tale of Halcyon Crane
Mary Lethert Wingerd, North Country

And don't be surprised if a few special guests show up. After all, there's no better way to get the Festival started!

Book sales for featured author events provided by Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

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