Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spooky Minnesota

M&Q brings you great Minnesota-made young adult fiction when Rebecca Davis reads from Chasing AllieCat--Monday, July 25, at 7:30pm.

Dumped with relatives in a small Minnesota town for the summer, Sadie Lester is relying on her mountain bike to save her from total boredom. Then she meets Allie, a spiky-haired off-road mountain biker who's training for a major race. Allie leads Sadie and Joe, a cute fellow cyclist, up and down Mount Kato, and the three become close friends. But the exhilarating rush comes to a halt when they find a priest in the woods, badly beaten and near death. After calling for help, Allie disappears from their lives.

As they search for Allie and try to find out why she left so suddenly, Sadie and Joe discover more about Allie's past, including her connection to the priest. Only on the day of the big race does Sadie finally learn the complete, startling truth about Allie--and the terrible secret that forced her into hiding.

Rebecca Fjelland Davis, of Good Thunder, MN, is a serious cyclist and the author of Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged. She teaches English and humanities at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota. Visit her online at

Details on this and all our author events are here.--David E

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Real Gem

If you missed last night's reading by Sapphire, you missed a good time. The poet and author of Push gave a mesmerizing reading from her new novel The Kid.

But don't despair. We'll post video of the event soon at E

Friday, July 15, 2011

From Down South to Up North

Author Ben Westhoff discusses his book Dirty South: Outkast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop at Magers & Quinn--7:30pm, Thursday, July 21. Details are here.

Rap music from New York and Los Angeles once ruled the charts, but nowadays the southern sound thoroughly dominates the radio, Billboard, and MTV. Coastal artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Ice-T call southern rap “garbage,” but they’re probably just jealous, as artists like Lil Wayne and T.I. still move millions of copies, and OutKast has the bestselling rap album of all time.

In Dirty South, author Ben Westhoff investigates the southern rap phenomenon, watching rappers “make it rain” in a Houston strip club and partying with the 2 Live Crew’s Luke Campbell. Westhoff visits the gritty neighborhoods where T.I. and Lil Wayne grew up, kicks it with Big Boi in Atlanta, and speaks with artists like DJ Smurf and Ms. Peachez, dance-craze originators accused of setting back the black race fifty years. Acting both as investigative journalist and irreverent critic, Westhoff probes the celebrated-but-dark history of Houston label Rap-A-Lot Records, details the lethal rivalry between Atlanta MCs Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, and gets venerable rapper Scarface to open up about his time in a mental institution. Dirty South features exclusive interviews with the genre’s most colorful players. Westhoff has written a journalistic tour de force, the definitive account of the most vital musical culture of our time.

“Ben Westhoff possesses the ear of a skilled hip-hop critic, the cadence of a poet, and the nerves of a pro boxer. Dirty South reveals not just the grit and spirit of Southern hip-hop, but the intensity of old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting--mixed with a dash of Gonzo journalism for good measure.” --Mara Shalhoup, author of BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family

“Ben Westhoff brings journalism back to hip-hop, and hip-hop back to journalism, by reclaiming the lost art of reporting. As a result, Dirty South is a most fascinating trip through Southern hip-hop’s origins and current reign. Great book.”--Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop

Ben Westhoff is a former staff writer for St. Louis’ Riverfront Times, whose work has also appeared in the Village Voice, Creative Loafing, Spin, and Pitchfork.--David E

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

American Gothic

Donald Ray Pollock will read from his chilling new novel The Devil All the Time at Magers & Quinn--7:30pm, Tuesday, July 19. Details are here.

Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial kill­ers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.

Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.

“Pollock--who spent three decades working at an Ohio paper mill before his 2008 story collection, Knockemstiff (the name of his real-life hometown), garnered widespread acclaim--doesn’t get a word wrong in this super-edgy American Gothic stunner.”--Elle Magazine

Donald Ray Pollock, recipient of the 2009 PEN/Bingham Fellowship, made his literary debut in 2008 with the critically acclaimed story collection, Knockemstiff, of which the San Francisco Chronicle said, “This is as raw as American fiction gets. It is an unforgettable experience.” Pollock worked as a laborer at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1973 to 2005. He holds an MFA from Ohio State University.--David E

Local History, Part 3

To compile their new book Lyn-Lake, Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips drew upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from the area 's long and often quirky past. They'll visit M&Q on July 14, to share stories from the neighborhood.One of the photos from the book is this early shot of the Wedge Co-op.(Click it to see a larger version.)
As interest in the co-op increased, the Wedge outgrew its space and moved to an old 7-Eleven on Lyndale Avenue just south of Franklin Avenue. Membership and sales continued to grow, and by 1991 the co-op’s membership coordinator, Elizabeth Archerd, said that it was “a supermarket by industry standards . . . operating out of a convenience store.” In 1992, the Wedge tripled its space in a new building adjacent to the 7-Eleven. Dan Foley, the general manager of the co-op in 1992, said that the expansion was a “reflection of the community needs” as “it was so crowded, people couldn’t shop there. The customers wanted more selection, more room, more hours, more service, and healthy, natural foods and organic foods.” Not everyone was happy with the expansion. Prior to opening, vandals dumped buckets of paint in the store and tried to it up by opening propane gas tanks. However, the community embraced the store, and the Wedge saw memberships increase from 550 to 6,000 between 1991 and 1998. (Photo by Jeremy Nichols.)
Learn more about Lyn-Lake's past when Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Phillips discuss their new book at M&Q--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.--David E

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Local History, Part 2

To compile their new book Lyn-Lake, Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips drew upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from the area 's long and often quirky past. They'll visit M&Q on July 14, to share stories from the neighborhood.
One of the photos from the book is this picture of the CC Club in its early days. (Click it to see a larger version.)
The CC Tap, now the CC Club, has stood on the corner of Twenty-sixth Street and Lyndale Avenue since 1934, when it first opened to serve thirsty Lyn-Lake residents eager to raise a glass to the end of Prohibition. It is shown here in 1967. Nearly two decades later, the bar was memorialized in The Replacements’ song, “Here Comes a Regular.” (Minnesota Historical Society; photograph by Norton and Peel.)
Learn more about Lyn-Lake's past when Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Phillips discuss their new book at M&Q--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.--David E

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Crazy Good

The world took notice of Lynne Jonell in March, 2010, when President Obama bought a copy of her book The Secret of Zoom during a stop in Iowa City. Minnesotans, however, have long recognized the talented author in our midst. Lynne Jonell visits Magers & Quinn to read from the third book in the acclaimed Emmy series, Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry--1:00pm, Saturday, July 16, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

Emmy is just an ordinary girl who can talk to rats. She can shrink to the size of a rodent, too. And just a few weeks ago, she even became a rodent to defeat her evil former nanny, Miss Barmy, and save some little girls from a fate worse than death.

But Emmy’s parents do not know about their daughter’s other life. So when mysterious things start happening that Emmy seems to be lying about, they ship her off to visit two elderly aunts in order to learn responsibility. Ratty, her rodent friend, comes along to search for his long-lost mother in Schenectady; and other friends of Emmy’s get involved in the search, too. Little do they know that Miss Barmy, bent on revenge, will follow.

Lynne Jonell lives in Plymouth, Minnesota, with her husband. She teaches writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Learn more at E

A Fall Preview

Magers & Quinn is pleased to announce a reading by “the best English novelist working today” (Guardian). Alan Hollinghurst will read from his novel The Stranger's Child at M&Q at 7:30pm, Thursday, October 27.

The Stranger’s Child, Alan Hollinghurst’s first novel in seven years, is a magnificent, century-spanning saga about a love triangle that spawns a myth--and a family mystery--across generations. In 1913, George Sawle brings charming, handsome Cecil Valance to his family’s modest home outside London for a summer weekend. George is enthralled by his Cambridge schoolmate, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by both Cecil and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to. But what Cecil writes in Daphne’s autograph album will change their and their families’ lives forever: a poem that, after Cecil is killed in the Great War and his reputation burnished, will be recited by every schoolchild in England. Over time, a tragic love story is spun, even as other secrets lie buried--until, decades later, an ambitious biographer threatens to unearth them.

UK press on The Stranger's Child has been very good. The Guardian called the book "one of the British literary world's most keenly awaited events", and said "Hollinghurst has a strong, perhaps unassailable claim to be the best English novelist working today."

Alan Hollinghurst is the author of The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell, and The Line of Beauty, which won the Man Booker Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received the Somerset Maugham Award, the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. He lives in London.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sapphire reads from her novel "The Kid"

Fifteen years after the publication of Push, one year after the Academy Award–winning film adaptation Precious, Sapphire brings us the story of Precious's son, Abdul. You can meet the author when she visits Magers & Quinn next week summer--7:30pm, Friday, July 15.

A story of body and spirit, rooted in the hungers of flesh and of the soul, The Kid brings us deep into the interior life of Abdul Jones. We meet him at age nine, on the day of his mother's funeral. Left alone to navigate a world in which love and hate sometimes hideously masquerade, forced to confront unspeakable violence, his history, and the dark corners of his own heart, Abdul claws his way toward adulthood and toward an identity he can stand behind.

In a generational story that moves with the speed of thought from a Mississippi dirt farm to Harlem in its heyday; from a troubled Catholic orphanage to downtown artist's lofts, The Kid tells of a twenty-first-century young man's fight to find a way toward the future. A testament to the ferocity of the human spirit and the deep nourishing power of love and of art, The Kid chronicles a young man about to take flight. In the intimate, terrifying, and deeply alive story of Abdul's journey, we are witness to an artist's birth by fire.

Sapphire is the author of two collections of poetry and the bestselling novel Push. The film adaption of her novel, Precious (2009), received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress, in addition to the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance. In 2009 she was a recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship. She lives in New York City.

Details on this and all our events are here.--David E

Cookbook Recommendations from Chef Doug Flicker of Piccolo

Doug Flicker is the acclaimed chef behind Piccolo, the south Minneapolis gem that Anthony Bourdain has called "terrific" and "really cutting edge." In a quaint space on the corner of 43rd St. and Bryant Ave, Flicker and company have been serving exquisitely executed small plates for the past 18 months. Doug took time out of his hectic schedule to provide us a list of his top five cookbooks.

White Heat by Marco Pierre White

"One of the greatest English chefs and the first to stand tall against the French. White is the original bad boy. Every cook in my generation wanted to be him. The book is full of outlandish quotes. If you look closely at the photo of the kitchen fight scene, you'll see that one of the commis is actually Gordon Ramsey."

The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller

"Any cook who hasn't had to repurchase this book at least once because they have worn out the pages looking at it or spilled sh** all over it when it was sitting on their cutting board because they were referencing it...isn't a good cook. This is THE book that changed everything."

COCO : 10 World-leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs

"Ten of the worlds best chefs each name ten of their favorite chefs. The best go-to book to see what is happening right now in the world of restaurants and who is taking us there."

Quay by Peter Gilmore

"An incredibly beautiful and inspiring book by Australian chef Peter Gilmore. Throughout the book, Gilmore shows a strong connection to the land while demonstrating amazing technique and vision. Every page echoes Gilmore's personality and strength as a chef."

La Riviera d'Alain Ducasse : Recettes au fil du temps by

Alain Ducasse

"A very personal book for me. I bought this book on my first trip to Europe. I had no idea at the time who he was but it was the most beautiful book I had ever seen at the time. Never translated into English, a lot of the book remains somewhat of a mystery to me ...and that in some way continues to make it special."

Piccolo is located mere blocks from M&Q at 4300 Bryant Avenue South.




Phone: 612.827.8111

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Postcards from Adam Turman

M&Q has a big selection of postcards by Minneapolis' own Adam Turman. You've doubtless already seen his work on a CD, T-shirt, or a poster for any of the various bands, music venues, record labels, or clothing companies he's worked for around town.
We recently unpacked some new postcard designs. Stop in and get them before they're all gone. The cards are a great way to send a bit of Minnesota cool, even in the summer time.--David E

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dark Star Rising

Yeah, it's summer outside, but we're getting a little dark this month at M&Q. The Devil All The Timeis a gritty, gothic thrill ride of a novel. John Jodzio, author of If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home, is a fan of Donald Ray Pollock and his new book. Here's what John has to say:
"What you see is what you get with Donald Ray Pollock’s new novel The Devil All The Time and here that’s a brilliant thing. Set in post-WWII and into the early 60s mostly in Ohio and West Virginia, the book is an ensemble piece that largely explores much of the same hardscrabble terrain as his excellent short story collection Knockemstiff. It’s a shooty and stabby pressure cooker where most of the characters search desperately for redemption or to settle old scores, but where much of their redemptive search/score settling is usually badly (or in a couple of cases, horribly) misguided. Pollock prose is unsentimental and beautifully spare and adds to a backdrop where everyone is only a half-step ahead of something ominous. Everyone says Pollock’s work reminds them of Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, etc) but in my mind Pollock's storytelling makes Palahnuik look like a g******n sissy."
Donald Ray Pollock reads from The Devil All the Time--Tuesday, July 19, 7:30pm. Don't be scared; be there.--David E

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Telling All

As an investigator for Minneapolis attorney Ron Meshbesher, Vincent Carraher has seen it all. In his book Whatever Happened to Lady Justice? he tells all. And he'll do it at Magers and Quinn at 4:00pm, Sunday, July 10.

Carraher writes, “After 40 years of being a criminal defense investigator I felt it was time to inform the public of some of the misconceptions of the legal system. ...I write about cases I have investigated. These cases involve high profile attorneys and local and national issues. I focus primarily on the legal system and the criminal justice system in particular. The cases I cite illustrate abuse of power by police, prosecutors, government, informants and various state and federal agencies.

“It is an unfortunate reality that many citizens do not truly understand what is going on in our legal system--well, not until they read this book.”

Vincent Carraher has been involved in some of the most famous and infamous cases in the country. From the Congdon murders to the Scott county child abuse cases Vinnie has been an eyewitness to overzealous prosecutors and police. He has worked with the best defense attorneys in the country and has worked on wrongful conviction cases including Ralph "Plookie" Duke and others.

Carraher will be introduced by Cathy Wurzer, host of Almanac on Twin Cities Public Television and host of Morning Edition on Minnesota Public Radio. Cathy Wurzer is also the author of Tales of the Road: Highway 61. Details are here.--David E

Local History, Part 1

To compile their new book Lyn-Lake, Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips drew upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from the area 's long and often quirky past. They'll visit M&Q on July 14, to share stories from the neighborhood.One of the photos from the book is this picture of the neighborhood's trolleys. (Click it to see a larger version.)
Streetcars plied the streets of the Lyn-Lake area, quickly and easily connecting residents with downtown and the commercial districts to the east and west. This 1948 photograph shows a derailed Bryant-Johnson streetcar at the intersection of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue, which has left a long line of streetcars idling in the background. (Minnesota Historical Society; photograph by Minneapolis Star Tribune.)      
Learn more about Lyn-Lake's past when Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Phillips discuss their new book at M&Q--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.--David E