at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S, Minneapolis, 612.822.4611, www.magersandquinn.com
July 12, 7:30 p.m. – Brad Herzog discusses Turn Left at the Trojan Horse – “Go away. Figure it out,” she was saying. “Don’t come back until you do.” She looked at the calendar. “You have thirty-one days.” With these words, like Helen of Troy launching a thousand ships across the Aegean, Brad Herzog’s wife launched a Winnebago Aspect onto the open road. A modern-day Odysseus in Kerouac clothing, Brad Herzog plunges into a solo cross-country search for insight. With middle age bearing down on him, he takes stock: How has he measured up to his own youthful aspirations? In contemporary America, what is a life well lived? What is a heroic life? From the foothills of Washington’s Mount Olympus, through the forgotten corners of America, and finally to his college reunion in Ithaca, New York, Brad shares his personal odyssey. Stopping in classically named towns, he meets everyday heroes, including a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Troy, OR; a modern-day hobo in Iliad, MT; and a bomb-squad soldier in Sparta, WI. These encounters and Brad’s effortlessly infused musings make for an exciting, one-of-a-kind ride.
Brad Herzog lives on California’s Monterey Peninsula with his wife and their two sons. Lonely Planet has ranked his travel memoirs among eight classics of the genre, along with books like Travels with Charley and On the Road. As an award-winning freelance writer, he has chronicled some of the nation’s most unusual and intriguing subcultures, from nudists to North Pole explorers and from Pez collectors to pro mini golfers. Learn more at www.bradherzog.com.
July 14, 7:30 p.m. – Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Phillips discuss Lyn-Lake – Minneapolis history comes alive in hundreds of historic photographs. Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips draw upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from Lyn-Lake’s long and often quirky past. The Lyn-Lake area of Minneapolis, centered around the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and West Lake Street, is one of the city’s most distinctive neighborhoods. The core commercial district is one of the oldest in South Minneapolis, thanks in part to its strategic location along several early streetcar lines. A rail line along 29th Street, now the Midtown Greenway, brought an industrial element to the neighborhood and provided additional jobs for the thousands of residents who lived in the surrounding houses and apartment buildings. As the neighborhood evolved, it took on a distinctive bohemian bent and filled with a diverse mix of artists, musicians, and writers living side by side with blue-collar industrial workers, along with those who worked at professional office jobs downtown. Lyn-Lake retains its unique flavor today, characterized by its blend of both the historical and the cutting edge.
Cedar Phillips is an author and an independent historian. Thatcher Imboden is a local business district leader and a Minneapolis commercial real estate development specialist. The siblings grew up in the area and together authored Uptown Minneapolis, also in Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series.
July 15, 7:30 p.m. – 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 gives voice to Precious’s son, Abdul. 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 9, 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 21st-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.