Author Events in October


at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S, Minneapolis, 612.822.4611,

• Wednesday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. – Henry Emmons, M.D., discusses his books The Chemistry of Joy, and The Chemistry of Calm
Renowned psychiatrist and therapist Henry Emmons integrates mind-body and natural therapies, mindfulness and allied Buddhist therapeutics, and psychotherapeutic caring and insight in his clinical work. Dr. Emmons obtained his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and did his residency in psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where he was Chief Resident. Dr. Emmons is in demand as a workshop and retreat leader for both healthcare professionals and the general public. He practices general and holistic psychiatry and consults to several colleges and organizations nationally. He currently serves as Consulting Psychiatrist at the Allina Medical Clinic in Northfield, MN. The Chemistry of Joy presents Dr. Emmons’s natural approach to depression – supplemented with medication if necessary – blending the best of Western science and Eastern philosophy to create your body’s own biochemistry of joy. Integrating Western brain chemistry, natural and Ayurvedic medicine, Buddhist psychology, and his own joyful heart techniques, Dr. Emmons creates a practical program for each of the three types of depression: anxious depression, agitated depression, and sluggish depression. This flexible approach creates newfound joy for those whose lives have been touched by depression–and pathways for all who seek to actively improve their emotional lives. The Chemistry of Calm presents a step-by-step plan to relieve anxiety and restore physical and mental strength. Marrying the Eastern techniques of meditation with the traditional Western solutions of diet and exercise produces a dramatic effect. Using this program, Dr. Emmons has helped countless patients reduce their anxiety and reclaim the resilience that is their birthright.

• Friday, Oct . 7, 7:30 p.m. – Chris Bohjalian reads from The Night Strangers
From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Skeletons at the Feast and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story. In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. The home’s new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin 10-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 die on impact or drown. The body count? Thirty-nine – a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village – self-proclaimed herbalists – and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous? The Night Strangers is a poignant and powerful ghost story with all the hallmarks readers have come to expect from bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian: a palpable sense of place, an unerring sense of the demons that drive us, and characters we care about deeply. Chris Bohjalian is the critically acclaimed author of 12 novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Skeletons at the Feast, The Double Bind, and Midwives, which was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages and twice became movies (Midwives and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter. Visit him at

• Sunday, Oct. 9, 4 p.m. – Beryl Singleton Bissell reads from A View of the Lake
Beryl Singleton Bissell, nationally renowned author of The Scent of God, shares her experience of life on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior in this collection of essays that follows her journey to find her place in a small northern town. Fans of her first book will feel right at home with the warm, insightful prose that has made Bissell so successful. For residents or frequent visitors, and hopeful travelers who have yet to experience its charms, A View of the Lake is a direct route to the North Shore. These tales of the singular joys and challenges of moving from a city to a rural area will resonate with anyone who dreams of downsizing, picking up and moving to a life alongside a lake and its denizens. Each chapter captures the nature of the North Shore and the ways in which everything and everyone is shaped by the Big Lake. Beryl Singleton Bissell was born in Saddle River, NJ, grew up in Puerto Rico, and for the past 30 years has called Minnesota home. Packing several lifetimes into one, Bissell was a cloistered contemplative nun for 15 years before becoming a wife, mother, widow, single mom, divorcee, bereaved parent and grandparent. She’s online at

• Monday, Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. – Paul Metsa discusses his new memoir Blue Guitar Highway and plays music!
This is a musician’s tale: the story of a boy growing up on the Iron Range, playing his guitar at family gatherings, coming of age in the psychedelic ’70s, and honing his craft as a pro in Minneapolis, ground zero of American popular music in the mid-eighties. “There is a drop of blood behind every note I play and every word I write,” Paul Metsa says. And it’s easy to believe, as he conducts us on a musical journey across time and country, navigating switchbacks, detours, dead ends, and providing us the occasional glimpse of the promised land on the blue guitar highway. His account captures the thrill of the Twin Cities when acts like the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and Prince were remaking pop music. It takes us right onto the stages he shared with stars like Billy Bragg, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen. And it gives us a close-up, dizzying view of the roller-coaster ride that is the professional musician’s life, played out against the polarizing politics and intimate history of the past few decades of American culture. Written with a songwriter’s sense of detail and ear for poetry, Blue Guitar Highway conveys all the sweet absurdity, dry humor, and passion for the language of music that has made his story sing. Metsa is a legendary musician and songwriter from Minnesota. Born on the Iron Range, he has been based in Minneapolis since 1978. He has received seven Minnesota Music Awards and has played more than five thousand gigs, including forays to Iceland and Siberia. He lives in Northeast Minneapolis with his faithful dog, Blackie; a dozen or so guitars; twenty-five orange crates of LPs; hundreds of books, compact discs, magazines, and vintage postcards; and several kitchen cupboards full of old cassettes.

• Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Photographer Scott Pasfield discusses Gay in America, co-sponsored by Quatrefoil Library
Photographer Scott Pasfield and several of his Minnesota subjects will appear to discuss Pasfield’s new book Gay In America, a groundbreaking, stereotype-shattering and unprecedented 224-page book of intimate photos and deeply personal stories from 140 gay American men, with an introduction by activist Tom Kirdahy and his husband, playwright Terrence McNally. Pasfield traveled 52,000 miles across all 50 states over three years, gathering stories and documenting the lives of gay men from all walks of life. At turns joyful and somber, reflective and celebratory, each narrative and image is an enlightening look into the variety of gay life in the United States. “I wanted to create a book that would change opinions and educate; to produce a profound collection of ordinary, proud, out gay men who defy clichés and stereotypes.” His striking and perceptive portraits reflect the same beautiful diversity found in any sampling of our population. Each of these men is unique and whole, complex and fallible, just as we all are. They come in every size and shape, every religion, color, profession, and background. There are farmers, writers, doctors, lawyers, artists, teachers, and students; there are fathers and husbands, activists, and businessmen. Some are successful, some are struggling, some are political, some are wealthy, some are wounded, and some are deeply content. Their commonality draws from a single shared trait: their homosexuality. These are men who are attracted to men, and have chosen not to disguise that truth. For many, there have been harsh consequences to this decision, but also deep rewards. The message that prevails is one of great hope that true equality is close within our reach, if only we would grasp it. Learn more about Gay In America at Scott Pasfield is a New York-based portrait photographer who specializes in portraiture. His work has appeared in numerous publications, from BlackBook to Fortune, Poz to Gotham. His clients include the Independent Film Channel, Time Inc., and the American Red Cross. Scott has taught at the Santa Fe Photography Workshops and is a member of Platon’s celebrated Nutopia Forum. He and his partner Nick divide their time between New York City, Long Island and Vermont. This event is co-sponsored by Quatrefoil Library. Quatrefoil Library is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011. The volunteer-run, non-profit library collects, maintains, documents, and circulates gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer materials and information in a safe and accessible space. Quatrefoil’s collection includes books, videos, DVDs, and sound recordings, which members may check out, as well as a large collection of non-circulating periodicals. Learn more at

Friday, Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m. – Sonya Huber reads from Cover Me : A Health Insurance Memoir
Growing up in middle-class middle America, Sonya Huber viewed health care as did most of her peers: as an inconvenience or not at all. There were braces and cavities, medications and stitches, the family doctor and the local dentist. Finding herself without health insurance after college graduation, she didn’t worry. It was a temporary problem. Thirteen years and twenty-three jobs later, her view of the matter was quite different. Huber’s irreverent and affecting memoir of navigating the nation’s health-care system brings an awful and necessary dose of reality to the political debates and propaganda surrounding health-care reform. “I look like any other upwardly mobile hipster,” Huber says. “I carry a messenger bag, a few master’s degrees, and a toddler raised on organic milk.” What’s not evident, however, is that she is a veteran of Medicaid and WIC, the federal government’s supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. In Cover Me, Huber tells a story that is at once all too familiar and rarely told: of being pushed to the edge by worry; of the adamant belief that better care was out there; of taking one mind-numbing job after another in pursuit of health insurance, only to find herself scrounging through the trash heap of our nation’s health-care system for tips and tricks that might mean the difference between life and death. Sonya Huber teaches creative writing in the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and at Georgia Southern University. She is the author of Opa Nobody, as well as several essays which have appeared in publications such as Fourth Genre, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post Magazine. More information is available at This event is cosponsored by the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition. MUHCC is dedicated to establishing comprehensive single-payer health care for all Minnesotans through advocacy, education, lobbying, and community organizing. They believe that health care is an essential human need, that unequal access to health care is an injustice, and that a single-payer system is the only system that can provide comprehensive, affordable, high quality health care for each and every person. Visit for more information.

• Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m. - Russell Banks reads from his new novel Lost Memory of Skin
Lost Memory of Skin shows us a troubled society where zero tolerance has erased any hope of subtlety and compassion. Suspended in a modern-day limbo, the young man at the centre of Russell Banks’s uncompromising and morally complex new novel must create a life for himself in the wake of incarceration. Known in his new identity only as the Kid, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and forbidden to go near where children might gather. He takes up residence under a south Florida causeway, in a makeshift encampment with other convicted sex offenders. Barely beyond childhood himself, the Kid, despite his crime, is in many ways an innocent. Enter the Professor, a university sociologist of enormous size and intellect who finds in the Kid the perfect subject for his research. But when the Professor’s past resurfaces and threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world, the balance in the two men’s relationship shifts. Russell Banks is the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of Affliction, Cloudsplitter, Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone and The Sweet Hereafter.

• Wednesday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. – Henry Rollins discusses Occupants
Musician, author, poet and photographer Henry Rollins has searched out the most desolate corners of the Earth – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Thailand to Mali, and beyond – for the past twenty-five years, articulating his observations through music and words, on radio and television, and in magazines and books. Though he’s known for the raw power of his expression, Rollins has shown that the greatest statements can be made with the simplest of acts: to just bear witness, to be present. In Occupants, Rollins pairs visceral full-color photographs – taken in Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and elsewhere over the last few years – with writings that not only provide context and magnify the impact of the images but also lift them to the level of political commentary. Simply put, this book is a visual testimony of anger, suffering and resilience. Occupants will help us realize what is so easy to miss when tragedy and terror become numbing, constant forces – the quieter, stronger forces of healing, solidarity, faith, and even joy. Rollins joined the Southern California band Black Flag as vocalist in 1981. Upon its demise, he formed Rollins Band, and has been making records, writing books and touring the world ever since. Rollins has averaged over one hundred shows a year for over 30 years. He also performs in movies and TV shows and hosts a weekly L.A. radio show. He lives in Los Angeles.


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