Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Authors’

The response to the tour in North Dakota and the far reaches of Minnesota (Ely for instance) has been strong. That in itself is not surprising though the readers come from the four corners – New England, Florida, San Diego and Washington. More surprising is (more…)

Listener in the Snow has won honorable mention at the prestigious Eric Hoffer Book Awards which honors small and independent presses which produce meritorious and memorable works.

The Eric Hoffer Award, http://www.hofferaward.com, honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Since its inception, the Hoffer has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses.

Hoffer was an important philosopher in the ancient tradition as he was a dock worker and labor figure as well, a philosoph who never ascended much lest occupied the ivory tower. He kept both feet planted on the ground, and like Tatty in LISTENER adhered to “sisu” and to “the baking of life’s daily bread.”

 

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Peter Geye in The Lighthouse Road has successfully captured, perhaps immigrated, the chill reality of Nordic life found in such stories as Knut Hamsun’s Growth of the Soil and Ib Michael’s Prince bringing them to new life in the New World.

Geye tells tales set against wilderness and sea (Lake Superior), fraught with willful living and near-sinfulness. Twined in a hidden fixating past are Odd Eide’s beginnings—orphaned near birth and raised side by side with his future lover/sister, the much older Rebekah—and his bondage to Hosea Grimm his adoptive, overbearing father (and Rebekah’s as well).

If Odd’s story is about breaking away, it is as much about making a way to live under dire and difficult circumstances. His life is both baneful and desolate. He loses an eye to a hibernating she-bear to prove to himself he is not a coward. Odd dissembles against his employer-father, taking what he will of Hosea’s ungenerous wealth, and insists on the impossible: to provide for his own son a loving mother. His undaunted skill and hardihood match the unforgiving spirit of water and wilderness but are no match for twisted spirit of human want and wantonness.

The story is haunted by the same unworldliness Ib Michael brings us to on the Titanic in Prince and the same earthiness grounding all of Hamsun’s Growth of the Soil. Geye’s hard edged telling is as merciless as a Lake Superior storm, and as powerful too.