Minnesota Authors’ Non-Fiction Books Cover Skiing, Baseball, The 1990s – Twin Cities
Last week we scoured Spring Fiction. Today we watch non-fiction, from skiing to fishing, baseball to what happened to us in the 1990s.
“Get up: my story” by Lindsey Vonn (Dey St., available now)
First memoir of the Minnesota native who is the most decorated skier of all time, an Olympic gold medalist in alpine skiing who holds four World Cup titles and one of six women to have won Cup races of the world in the five disciplines of alpine skiing. Now retired, Vonn writes about skiing at Buck Hill Minnesota and the towering mountains of Colorado, his goal of pushing his body past its breaking point and his battle with physical injuries as well as mental disorders, including decades-long depressions and lack of self-confidence. . Vonn’s candid revelations have earned praise from some of the nation’s top athletes, including Wayne Gretzky, Billie Jean King and Tom Brady.
“Circulating home: popular baseball, prose, meditations and images” by Bill Meissner (Finishing Line Press, February)
In the wake of its well-received short story collection “Light at the Edge of the Field”, Meissner offers 100 photographs of small-town baseball fans accompanied by a short prose. A retired teacher in the Creative Writing Program at St. Cloud State University, Meissner is also a photographer. He took photos of fields in Minnesota, from Champion Field in Sartell to Cold Spring baseball stadium in 1910, to the home of the Mudhens in Miesville. It introduces readers to the hand-built secluded field by Henry J. Meyer hidden in rural County Stearns and an abandoned and overgrown field in Orrock. His text goes beyond baseball to reflect on how the game becomes a metaphor for our lives. A prose play is a tribute to the early struggles of the great Hank Aaron against discrimination. For more information, visit: facebook.com/wjmeissner/.
“From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of the romantic comedy” by Scott Meslow (HarperCollins, February)
Meslow grew up in White Bear Lake and, after stints in New York and Los Angeles, recently moved to Minneapolis. He describes his first book as “the history and cultural analysis of modern romantic comedy – drawn from dozens of new interviews and many, tens of hours of research – starting with ‘When Harry Met Sally’, covering films like “Pretty Woman”, and “Knocked Up”… and ending with the rise of Netflix romantic comedy franchises like “To All the Boys” and “The Kissing Booth”. His book received positive reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.
“A natural curiosity: the history of the bell MuseumBy Lansing Shepard, Don Luce, Barbara Coffin and Gwen Schagrin (University of Minnesota Press, March)
Happy birthday to the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of Natural History, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. His new home in Larpenteur and Cleveland in St. Paul is the museum’s fifth. The Journey of the Bell, which began in 1872 as a one-piece cabinet of curiosities, includes finds, moments and people who made the museum what it is today and includes bird watchers, botanists, tycoons and environmentalists. “From its conception as part of a state-mandated geological and natural history study to its most recent initiatives in the fields of technology, environmental sciences and DNA sequencing, the Bell Museum informed, explained and expanded our relationship with the natural world. writes the editor. The oversized format allows for many interesting photos of people working over the years on programs adapted to the profound changes undergone by society, science and the natural landscape during the life of the museum. And for those who love the museum’s dioramas created by artist Francis Lee Jaques, there are photos of everything from beavers to wolves, fish to birds. (Look up a story about the events and exhibits celebrating the 150th anniversary of the bell in Sunday Life on January 16.)
“The 90s: a book” by Chuck Klosterman (Penguin Books, February)
Klosterman, born 1972, is an author and journalist who grew up on a farm in Wyndmere, North Dakota, so we’ll consider him an honorary Minnesotan. He is the author of eight non-fiction books, including “Killing Yourself to Live”. In his new book, he recounts what happened in the decade in which he believes there was the greatest change in human consciousness in all decades of American history. From the fall of the Berlin Wall and the attack on the Twin Towers to the end of landlines and the beginnings of cellphone popularity, Klosterman reflects on the rise of the internet, pre-9/11 politics, and the idea that this was the last era that stuck with the idea of a real hegemonic mainstream before the media broke into many platforms.
“Stand before his people: Emmegahbowh and the Ojibwés” by Verne Pickering and Stephen Schaitberger (Beaver’s Pond Press, available now)
As whites finally begin to listen to the voices of Indigenous peoples, there are a growing number of books available on Native Americans whose names are unfamiliar to most of us. This is the case with Emmegahbowh, the first Ojibwa Episcopalian priest during the turbulent 1800s, when the United States government made treaties that would be broken and took Indigenous people away from their homelands. This coffee table-sized book, with interesting illustrations and an attractive layout, tells the life story of this extraordinary man from 1813 to 1901. He spoke Ojibwe and English, lived among the Ojibwa and participated in the politics of relations and treaties between the Ojibwa, the United States government and the settlers who wanted Indian lands to be exploited and cultivated. Emmegahbowh has left a written record of his work, much of which is presented in this book, including an overview of Ojibwe culture and beliefs.
Looking ahead to June (you remember that hot month, right?), University of Minnesota Press will be launching three interesting books.
“Strike! Twenty days in 1970 when Minneapolis teachers broke the law” is by laureate William D. Green, author and vice-president of the Minnesota Historical Society. Her book tells the complex and dramatic story of an illegal strike that forever changed labor relations and politics in Minnesota.
“Seven aunts” by Staci Lola Drouillard is both memory and cultural history in the memories of seven aunts who hold home and family together, telling a crucial and often overlooked story of 20th century women who were ‘German and English, Anishinaabe and French, born in the woodland north and agricultural country of the Midwest. They moved on and on, and they fought for each other when their men got mean, when the money ran out, when the babies – and there were so many – added more problems but even more love.
“Golden: a beautiful fish of the dark” by Paul J. Radomski deals with the holy grail of game fish, their capture, understanding their biology and history, and ensuring their survival.