Day 20: “Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement” by Lori Sturdevant

32-Books-IconEach day leading up to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Minnesota finalist Lori Sturdevant.

 

The Life of a Minnesota Pioneer

Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement by Lori Sturdevant
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Category Sponsor: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

As a young woman in Kansas, Rosalie Irwin determined that her career goal was to do work that benefitted others. Not interested in any of the professions of this type that were typically reserved for females (such as teacher or nurse), Irwin enrolled at the William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul in 1962. Of the 125 students in her graduating class, Rosalie was one of only two women. In this excellent biography, Sturdevant describes Rosalie Wahl’s professional ascent which culminated with her appointment as Minnesota’s first female Supreme Court Justice in 1977. A champion of the disadvantaged and of gender and racial equality, Wahl was closely involved with both the Task Force for Gender Fairness in the Courts and the Task Force on Racial Bias in the Judicial System. Described by a friend as “a soft little Quaker woman” with “a fiery core,” the challenges that Wahl had faced earlier in life gave her a unique strength and compassion that informed her work. Inspiring and entertaining, Her Honor is exceptional both as a biography and as a history of a significant time in Minnesota’s history.

About the author:

Lori Sturdevant is an editorial writer and columnist for the Star Tribune, covering government and politics. In addition to Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement, she has written and edited many other books on Minnesota history.

The reviews are in:

“Lori Sturdevant eloquently captures Rosalie’s journey to become the first woman in state history named to the Minnesota Supreme Court. In a time where glass ceilings were not only lower but often not even recognized, Rosalie Wahl—and the women who walked beside her—made history by not letting the restriction of the status quo limit their dreams or ambition. Her Honor will inspire the next generation of women leaders to strive for new heights and be ready to say yes to great opportunities when they arrive.” – Lauren Beecham, Executive Director, womenwinning

“A must-read for anyone interested in the history of the state.” – Esther Tomljanovich, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, 1990-98

“Rosalie was a role model and an inspiration for me and so many women. Lori Sturdevant perfectly depicts her passion and sense of justice.” – Joan Growe, Minnesota Secretary of State, 1975-99

In the media:

Read an excerpt from Her Honor

MPR interview with Lori Sturdevant

Audio Documentary on Rosalie Wahl


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read Her Honor? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Day 21: “Northern Orchards” by James Silas Rogers

32-Books-IconEach day leading up to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists.  Today we feature 2015 Memoir and Creative Nonfiction finalist James Silas Rogers.

 

Reflections on Sacred Spaces

Northern Orchards: Places Near the Dead by James Silas Rogers
Published by:  North Star Press of Saint Cloud
Category Sponsor:  Northwestern Mutual

Rogers reflects on his visits to graveyards and burial grounds around Minnesota in this thought-provoking collection of essays that explore memory and sacred space. Not believing cemeteries to be macabre places, he instead focuses on their quality of “restored innocence,” transcendence, and spirituality. In writing that is both reverent and wry, he delves into the living history to be found in these sacred spaces and finds a sense of connection to the past. In the essay “Looking for Patrick,” he writes of his research on Patrick Cudmore, a writer who had a “heroic misjudgment about his own significance,” who emigrated from Ireland and settled in Minnesota in the nineteenth century. In “The Old Order,” Rogers documents his experience visiting an old Amish cemetery near Wilmont, Minnesota and what he learned about Amish culture in the process. Northern Orchards: Places Near the Dead pensivelylaments the frivolities of modern life and explores the histories of some of Minnesota’s sacred spaces.

About the author:

Rogers’ poems have appeared in many journals and he is the author of the poetry chapbook Sundogs. His creative nonfiction has been included in New LettersNotre Dame Magazine and Best American Essays, among other collections. He edits New Hibernia Review, an Irish Studies quarterly published by the University of St. Thomas.

Links:

Minnesota Author Challenges Cemeteries’ Macabre Stereotype

The reviews are in:

“With his acute eye and meditative voice, Rogers gives us a tour not of death but of living history in his visits to graveyards. These closely considered cities of the dead contain deep reservoirs of lyricism in their ignored beauty, and Rogers is a winning, graceful guide to their secrets and meaning.” – Patricia Hampl, author of I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory 

“What Rogers calls ‘a sensation of connectedness and transcendence’ is a sensation harder and harder to come by in an America devoted to sprawl and growing rapidly and perilously away from any sacramental sense of place, any sacral awareness of human experience. Equally reverent and wry, these moving pieces remind us of the soul-enlarging powers of remembrance.” – Daniel Tobin, poet and author of Belated Heavens

“James Silas Rogers writes with a feeling for deep time, calling to mind the spirit of Joseph Mitchell’s essays.  ‘Marble orchards’ —cemeteries— have a claim on his heart.  After reading these evocative essays, they’ll have a claim on you, too.  I’m ready to travel with Rogers anywhere his curiosity leads him.” – Howard Mansfield, author of In the Memory House


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Day 22: “The Life We Bury” by Allen Eskens

32-Books-IconEach day leading up to the April 18announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Genre Fiction finalist Allen Eskens.

 

A twisting and evocative mystery

 

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Published by: Seventh Street Books/Prometheus Books
Category Sponsor: Macalester College

The Life We Bury tells the story of Joe Talbert, a junior at the University of Minnesota, who receives a class assignment to write a biography of someone who has lived an interesting life. At a nursing home he meets Carl Iverson, a man dying of cancer who has been medically paroled after spending thirty years in prison for the murder of a fourteen-year-old girl. Carl agrees to tell Joe his story, and Joe sets out to unravel the tapestry of the thirty-year-old murder. Eskens combines the mounting tension of an expert thriller with the emotional burdens of his compelling narrator to create a twisting and evocative mystery that is full of heart.

About the author:

In addition to his writing life, Eskens is a criminal defense attorney with over 20 years experience. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law. The Life We Bury is his first book. Visit his website.

The reviews are in:

“Kudos and five stars to Allen Eskens for this intriguing debut, a combination of coming-of-age and murder mystery…a compelling read to the end.” – Examiner.com

“Eskens’ debut is a solid and thoughtful tale of a young man used to taking on burdens beyond his years.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Allen Eskens delivers a mesmerizing debut, unfolding decades of secrets in a rewarding tale of redemption.” – Julie Kramer, Minnesota Book Award Winner

Links:

Listen to Allen Eskens speak at the Fireside Reading Series

Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read The Life We Bury? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Day 23: “My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation” by Brenda J. Child

32-Books-IconEach day leading up to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 General Nonfiction finalist Brenda J. Child.

 

A Look at Ojibwe Life and Labor on the Reservation

 

My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation by Brenda J. Child
Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press
Category Sponsor Minnesota AFL-CIO

Brenda Child uses her own family history, as well as stories of Ojibwe people from around the Great Lakes region, to examine the challenges in daily work, family life, and culture faced by the Ojibwe people of her grandparents’ generation. There were few opportunities for work during this time and government programs controlled reservation economies and opposed traditional practices. Nevertheless, Ojibwe men and women—fully modern workers who carried with them rich traditions of culture and work—patched together sources of income and took on new roles as labor demands changed through World War I and the Depression.

Child writes of men knocking rice at wild rice camps, work customarily done by women; a woman who turns to fishing and bootlegging when her husband is unable to work; and women who carry out traditional healing ceremonies. All of them, faced with dispossession and pressure to adopt new ways, managed to retain and pass on their Ojibwe identity and culture to their children.

About the author:

BrendaJ. Child is associate professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota and author of Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 and Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community.

Links:

Brenda Child discusses My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks with MPR’s Tom Weber

 The reviews are in:

“Professor Child lovingly shows the spirit, creativity, and work that went into earning a living and into reproducing family and community even as she captures the costs of dispossession.” – David R. Roediger, author of Working Toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White.

My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks is an original and perceptive history of labor and economic survival on the Red Lake Reservation. Brenda Child considers hard work and communal enterprises, men and women in fisheries, rice harvests, and jingle dance healers in generous, heartfelt, and documented stories.” – Gerald Vizenor, author of Blue Ravens.   


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

 

 

 

Day 24: “Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster” by Mike Wohnoutka

32-Books-IconEach day counting down to the April 18 Minnesota Book Awards Gala, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Children’s Literature finalist Mike Wohnoutka.

A Story of an Unlikely Friendship

Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster by Mike Wohnoutka
Published by Holiday House
Category Sponsor: Books For Africa

With lively illustrations and a heartwarming ending, Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster tells the story of an energetic little dog who wants someone to play with him. Finding just the right someone, however, proves to be a challenge: the children are off at school, the sleeping man is too lazy, and the cat is much too boring. The little puppy is despondent until he spies a big green monster reading on a bench. The monster seems mean. Can the puppy cheer him up and make a new friend? Words and illustrations work impressively together to tell the story of a persistent puppy that energetically and relentlessly pursues friendship all the way through to the book’s heartwarming end.

About the author:                                                                                          

Mike Wohnoutka has illustrated more than 20 books for children, including Moo!, winner of the 2014 Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature. His other titles have won numerous awards, including the National Jewish Book Award, Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, and the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Mike lives with his wife and two children in Minneapolis.

Links

Visit Mike Wohnoutka’s website

The reviews are in:

“Little Puppy’s persistence wins him an unexpected friend. Throughout, softly sweet, cartoonish illustrations depict the intrepid puppy and the big green monster, both of whom are quite cute in very different ways, with an emphasis on scale; that monster sure is big. Vignettes convey the slapstick of the interactions, while full- and double-page spreads emphasize emotion. This sweet story of new, unusual friendship is sure to elicit plenty of giggles.
Kirkus Reviews

“Mike Wohnoutka captures the spirit of childhood play with sweet and playful illustrations and a fun combination of unexpected characters. A great read—and an even better re-read.”—MN Book Awards judges

A Six Year Old Reviews Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster

 


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Day 25: “Ambassador” by William Alexander

32-Books-IconEach day as we count down to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Young People’s Literature finalist William Alexander.

An Out-of-This-World Tale

Ambassador by William Alexander
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster
Category Sponsor: The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University

Eleven-year old Gabe Fuentes is reading one night before bed when a shape-shifting purple creature slides into his room through the heating grate in the floor. This strange creature tells Gabe that his name is Envoy and that he has important news: Envoy has selected Gabe to be an ambassador for Earth and take part in acts of diplomacy with aliens through Gabe’s dreams. After deconstructing the washer and dryer in the basement, Envoy transforms it into a black hole that Gabe can enter through his dreams. As he explores the new worlds that the black hole takes him to, Gabe meets ambassadors from other planets. Along the way, he learns about the communication habits of aliens, struggles with the potential deportation of his parents, and discovers that evil aliens are on their way to Earth. With guidance from Envoy, Gabe learns how to be a good ambassador and how to survive alien attacks. Ambassador is truly an out-of-this-world tale.

From the book:

We’re not alone, he thought. He had always figured that aliens must exist somewhere. Space was entirely too big, filled with too many other stars and way too many other planets for the rest of it to stand empty. And he had known about the living reality of intelligent-yet-nonhuman life since his first chat with the Envoy. But the Envoy was just one purple oddity that fit in an aquarium. Now aliens surrounded Gabe. He squinted to glimpse the wide variety of shapes and movement. He was one of many. His own world was just one place among infinite many.

About the author:

William Alexander has written three novels for young readers and is a previous Book Award finalist. He is also the author of Goblin Secrets, winner of the National Book Award, and its companion novel, Goulish Song. Alexander teaches Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

The reviews are in:

Star Tribune review

“An interstellar embassy, alien assassins, galactic mass extinctions: These are Gabe’s small problems…Physics lovers will enjoy this clever series opener – but so will those who enjoy comedy, politics, diplomacy or strange-looking aliens.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“An imaginative, tightly written tale with the perfect blend of science fiction and reality.”—MN Book Awards judge


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets Now

Award winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read Ambassador? What are your thoughts? We welcome your

Day 26: “Albedo” by Kathleen Jesme

32-Books-IconEach day as we count down to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Poetry finalist Kathleen Jesme.

 

A multi-layered portrait of life after death

Albedo by Kathleen Jesme
Published by Ahsahta Press
Category Sponsor: Wellington Management, Inc.

Stunning and beautiful, the poems in Albedo circle around the death of the speaker’s father and examine grief as a reflection of the stark, wintry landscape that pervades the collection. From the white blanket of snow across which a small plane flies, to an array of tricksters, fairytale characters and figures from memory, the quietly recurring images that haunt Albedo examine the mostly ordinary and sometimes extraordinary ways in which the individual comes to perceive and love the world.

Author Biography: Kathleen Jesme

Kathleen Jesme is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Meridian (Tupelo Press), and The Plum-Stone Game (Ahsahta Press). Her books have won the Lena Miles Wever Todd and Snowbound Poetry Prizes. She is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and a recent recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.

The reviews are in:

“The term ‘albedo’ references a surface’s ability to reflect solar energy, and whether Jesme’s poems travel a winter landscape (“the road narrowed with snow and twilight”) or fly above it, as the poet’s deceased father did, they have the lambency of light sharply reflected. Working her way through grief, Jesme observes white and dark everywhere as she touches on primal fears. And the snow keeps falling.” — Library Journal

“The season is winter. The death is the father’s. The question is: How far can language take us? And when it takes us there—into silence and through silence—how exactly will we be brought back? There is grief in this book, for sure, but also something else: a wonderment that such lives as ours exist. Finally the act of writing itself does truly take Jesme where she needs to go, where we all need to go: ‘and now here I am fixing up/the solitary again.’  Albedo is a truly amazing book.” — Jim Moore

“If you love a challenge; if you question language, loss, existence; if you have an appreciation for measured chaos, this collection of diverse poems is an excellent read.” — The Corresponder, Mankato State University

In the media:

Listen to Kathleen Jesme talk with Minnesota Reads on KUMD in Duluth.

Kathleen Jesme reading three poems from Albedo (Audio)


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read Albedo? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Day 27: “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James

32-Books-IconEach day as we count down to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Novel & Short Story finalist Marlon James.


A Dark and Gripping Narrative


A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Published by Riverhead Books
Category Sponsor: Education Minnesota

Described by the New York Times as “raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting,” A Brief History of Seven Killings spans three decades and features narration from a varied cast of characters which includes a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine, the CIA station chief in Jamaica, gang members, and a dead politician. Their stories are told with straightforward grit—a style of narration which enhances the Jamaican setting as the alternation among narrators gives the reader both inside and outside perspectives on Jamaican culture and society. James brings his characters vividly to life with an authentic intensity which leaves an indelible impression. The centerpiece of the story stringing all of the narratives together is the 1976 assassination attempt on Bob Marley (referred to in the book simply as “the Singer”). A Brief History of Seven Killings takes readers on a gripping journey seen through the eyes of an intriguing cast of characters.

Author Biography:

Marlon James teaches Creative Writing and English at Macalester College in Saint Paul. His novel, The Book of Night Women, was the winner of the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and a Minnesota Book Award. His short works of fiction have been published in Esquire, Kingston Noir, and Silent Voices. His non-fiction writing has been published in Granta, The Caribbean Review, and Publisher’s Weekly.

The reviews are in:

 Marlon James' "A Brief History of Seven Killings" was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 2014“Thrilling, ambitious…Both intense and epic.” – Los Angeles Times

“Brilliantly executed…The novel makes no compromises, but is cruelly and consummately a work of art.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Rendered with virtuosic precision and deep empathy.” – Time

“The way James uses language is amazing…Vigorous, intricate and captivating, A Brief History of Seven Killings is hard to put down.” – Ebony

In the Media:

BBC World interview with Marlon James

Interview with Marlon James on NPR’s All Things Considered

The Friends’ Fireside Podcast with Marlon James


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read A Brief History of Seven Killings? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Day 28: “Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota” by John J. Moriarty and Carol D. Hall

32-Books-IconEach day as we count down to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Minnesota finalists John J. Moriarty and Carol D. Hall.

 

A Fascinating and Colorful Look at Minnesota’s Amphibians and Reptiles

Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota by John J. Moriarty and Carol D. Hall
Published by University of Minnesota Press
Category Sponsor: St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

Snakes on the patio, salamanders in the basement, frogs crossing the road, and turtles nesting on the shore in the land of 10,000 lakes: from the enchanted child to the curious adult, from the amateur naturalist to the dedicated conservationist, living with wildlife in Minnesota means finding amphibians and reptiles in prairies and forests and your own backyard. This fascinating and comprehensive survey of the fifty-three species of amphibians and reptiles native to Minnesota features a very user-friendly format, with more than 200 photographs, written descriptions, county-based maps, and more. Amateur and professional alike will find this book a comprehensive source, invaluable for discovering, identifying, and learning about any of the state’s amphibian and reptile species.

Author Biography:

John J. Moriarty is senior wildlife manager for Three Rivers Park District, a regional park system; coauthor of Amphibians and Reptiles Native to Minnesota(Minnesota, 1994); and author of Turtles and Turtle Watching for the North Central States. He started the Minnesota Frog and Toad Survey.

Carol D. Hall has worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since 1991 coordinating statewide amphibian and reptile surveys for the Minnesota Biological Survey.

The reviews are in:

“A wonderfully readable and superbly written book.” –Minnesota Book Awards Judge

 In the media:

Star Tribune article by Doug Smith

Listen to John Moriarty talk with Minnesota Reads on KUMD in Duluth.


Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Day 29: “Love Imagined: A Mixed Race Memoir” by Sherry Quan Lee

32-Books-IconEach day as we count down to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Memoir and Creative Nonfiction finalist Sherry Quan Lee.

 

A Moving Memoir about a Woman’s Search for Love and Acceptance

Love Imagined: A Mixed Race Memoir by Sherry Quan Lee
Published by: Modern History Press/Loving Healing Press
Category Sponsor: Northwestern Mutual

Lee’s memoir is a moving first-person account of growing up in 1950s south Scandinavian Minneapolis as the child of a Chinese father and an African-American mother. As a married adult, Lee was subjected to racism, sexism, and classism from her in-laws. She was essentially told by her white second husband that if her true racial identity was revealed to his parents (they believed that she was Polynesian) they would no longer accept her. Lee writes frankly about her experiences with racism and coming to terms with her racial identity, and ultimately, Love Imagined serves as a reminder that racism is still a part of our society. Lee’s open and honest reminiscence is a heartfelt testament to the hardships faced by those who are constantly reminded of what makes them different, and also to the desire for acceptance.

Excerpt from Love Imagined: A Mixed Race Memoir

There are few photographs of me smiling. I looked away from the camera; I was shy. Even now, I don’t like to be photographed (but I have crossed over from introvert to extrovert on the Myers Briggs exam). I see what other people say they don’t. I see an ugly girl. Crooked teeth. Bad hair. Glasses. I see skin the color of someone my mother wanted me to be, skin bleached with lemon cream every summer, covered with make-up beginning in seventh grade. Shame. I wear it still, I wear it well, and I wear it darker than I did in junior high school because I am trying not to be seen as the white girl. I am trying to express, in any way I can, that despite the Scandinavian neighborhood I grew up in, my father is Chinese, my mother is Black.

Sherry Quan Lee is a Lee Community Instructor at Metropolitan State University and has taught at Intermedia Arts and The Loft Literary Center. Lee is also the author of A Little Mixed Up, Chinese Blackbird, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life.

Video:

In the Press:

A brief interview with Sherry Quan Lee


 

Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org/gala.

Have you read Love Imagined? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!