BY OLA LARSMO I guess it was the silence that caught my imagination. It was very deep, in the middle of a bustling city. My wife, Rita, had spent an important year as an exchange student in Minneapolis and wanted to visit old friends. When we first went there in 2006, I knew that I … More Swede Hollow: The surprises and intrigue behind Ola Larsmo’s haunting story of a real place
INTRODUCTION BY TRANSLATOR BARBARA SJOHOLM As the translator of Clearing Out, I’m delighted to be able to introduce the Norwegian author Helene Uri and her marvelously written and moving novel to a North American audience. Clearing Out is a novel of losses (languages, histories, and parents), but also of discoveries and rediscoveries (heritage, memories, and … More An Interview with Helene Uri, author of CLEARING OUT
BY BARBARA SJOHOLM By the Fire is an uncommon collection of Sami folktales recorded by a woman who was herself quite remarkable for her time. Emilie Demant Hatt was born in a rural village in Jutland, Denmark, in 1873 and only attended school up to the age of fourteen. But with help from her mother’s … More How a chance encounter led to an uncommon collection of Sami folktales by Emilie Demant Hatt.
BY LINDA LeGARDE GROVER The story began for me when I was a child, too young to question but old enough to see, hear, and remember. Adults conversing over tea occasionally forgot that there were children present and alluded to loss: to Indian boarding schools; to runaways and the foster home system; to inexperienced girls … More Linda LeGarde Grover: On resilience and loss.
Dear Reader, Octogenarian Haze Evans believes that curiosity is the collagen of the mind, staving off mental sags, droops, and wrinkles. She doesn’t care that Society reserves its pompom waving and back flips for those who’ve yet to cross the 40-year line; as a newspaper columnist, she’s got people to listen to, stories to write, … More Letter from a Radical Hag
BY SARAH STONICH The title of this novel might sound like the answer to a trivia question—points for anyone who can draw the Laurentian Divide on a bar napkin, extra to mark where it meets the St. Lawrence in northern Minnesota. At this juncture, rivers flow in three directions: east to the Gulf of St. … More Life on the edge in northern Minnesota border country.
The first complete English translation of Orikuchi Shinobu’s masterwork, The Book of the Dead is a sweeping historical romance telling a gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth-century Japan. Orikuchi is often considered one of the fathers of Japanese folklore studies, and this is the most important novel of his … More The Book of the Dead: Longlist for the 2017 National Translation Award in Prose
BY VIDAR SUNDSTØL In the old days in Norway—up until the end of the 19th century—the night between the 23rd and 24th of June was the night to harvest any kind of plants that were supposed to hold healing or magical powers. At the same time it was a dangerous night to be wandering around … More Midsummer Eve: A gateway to another, sometimes dangerous, world.
BY LORNA LANDVIK One of my first editors was a woman named Leona Never, who while reading through slush pile submissions back in the ’50s came across a manuscript she insisted her boss not only read, but publish, pronto. It was Peyton Place. Leona was old-school and managed to rise up in the sexist women-are-secretaries-men-are-bosses … More Lorna Landvik on returning to Patty Jane’s world
BY LARRY MILLETT In his four novels and 56 short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle always depicted the great detective in the prime of life. The Holmes in these tales is not only a perfect thinking machine but also athletic, fearless, and supremely confident. Yet what might have happened to Holmes as … More In latest Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota installment, the typically flawless Holmes is plagued by doubt and illness.