at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, 612.822.4611, www.magersandquinn.com
January 21, 7:30 p.m. — Heidi Durrow reads from The Girl Who Fell From the Sky — This searing and heart-wrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society’s ideas of race and class — winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice — will be available in paperback on January 11. Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop. Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It’s there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.
January 27, 7:30 p.m. — Three authors of the Minnesota-based poetry press Lowbrow Press read from their new books: Matt Mauch, MC Hyland, and Brad Liening. Among the laundromats, VFWs, parking lots, and backyard cookouts of Matt Mauch’s Prayer Book are humorous portraits of vulnerability warring with a kind of I-don’t-want-to-wilt-too-much strength. Mauch teaches writing and literature in the AFA program at Normandale Community College. The poems inÂ MC Hyland’s Neveragainland construct a poetics of space, evoking films, maps, magazines, homes — things with plots, markers, events. Hyland lives in Minneapolis, where she runs DoubleCross Press and the Pocket Lab Reading Series, and works at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Author Gregory Lawless writes that “the poems in Brad Liening’s Ghosts and DoppelgÃ¤ngers offer up a surrealist melting pot full of oozing, bubbling, nightmarish Americana. They sound like Emma Lazarus on acid; like Thomas Paine and Eric Bogosian playing Exquisite Corpse exquisitely; like a young Charles Simic guest hosting TMZ.” Liening is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and he lives in Minneapolis.