PositiveThe Minneapolis Star Tribune... a knowing, revealing look at life on a reservation. The resentment and mistrust that many Indians feel toward white people is palpable, whether disinterested or corrupt officials, or wasicus who claimed reservation land during the allotment time, or tourists seeking \'poverty porn.\' Virgil decries the focus that white journalists place on the negative and the stereotypical, but he also makes us see the sadness and evils that pockmark the reservation: drugs, suicide, alcoholism, poverty, despair...But the spirit, joy, pride and resilience of Native people also comes through these pages: respect for elders, the hunger for education and meaningful work, a growing interest in Lakota language, customs and traditions.
Marie Mutsuki Mockett
PositiveThe Star Tribune... a rich blend of science, philosophy and spirituality ... We pass dying towns, pioneer cemeteries and nuclear missile fields, and we learn to see wild pigs as pests, like city subway rats, running through fields and damaging the wheat. We contemplate the parched bones of long-discarded farm equipment as we ride in computer-driven tractors working satellite-monitored fields. Mockett writes poetically about the shifting colors of the sky and how they morph from dawn to noon to midnight. She marvels at the strength, patience and joy the harvesters take in their work.
PositiveThe Star TribuneThis loving gift to [O\' Brien\'s] now-teenage sons is sprinkled with literary criticism, writing tips, thoughts on his relationship with his father and philosophy on aging and mortality ... He hopes that when he’s gone his boys will read widely and critically, and that they will write, so he includes instruction — read these books, honor these rules — and essay questions...He also provides a clear look into his own approach to writing fiction and the blending of fiction and fact ... Though he claims not to think much about Vietnam, the war is everywhere in these pages ... In his imagination today, half a century after his war, he digs himself a trench at night, a foxhole, to sleep in.
Byron L. Dorgan
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star Tribune... a compassionate account of the difficult life of one American Indian woman, from her lost childhood on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to homelessness in the Twin Cities. Through her, Byron Dorgan indicts America’s historic mistreatment of Indians.
Ola Larsmo, Trans. by Tiina Nunnally
PositiveThe Star TribuneOla Larsmo’s epic novel Swede Hollow is...stirring...and a timely reminder of the trials and uncertainties often faced by immigrants—and the courage they show in overcoming them ... it is a message sure to tug at the heart of every immigrant and every descendant of an immigrant.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneBascomb bravely tries to explain early research in nuclear physics, including the production of 'heavy water' and how that mysterious liquid was essential to German efforts to build a bomb. Norsk Hydro’s plant was the best place to produce it in necessary quantities. But while the science is accessible and interesting, the heart of the story is how a small band of Norwegians escaped to England after Norway’s surrender and occupation in 1940, how they trained with British commandos, developed an intelligence-gathering force back home and slipped back into Norway to deny Hitler that awful power ... In scene after dramatic scene, from remote Norwegian mountain hideouts to research rooms in Berlin to commando training camps in Britain, he uses crisp dialogue, lavish description, deep character development and other literary devices. It makes for suspenseful reading and feels honest, but at times one almost hears the camera’s whir ... The Winter Fortress is an intensely researched and vividly told account of one of the most critical episodes of the war.
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneIn Seierstad’s stark beginning, there are no names, not for the shooter nor for the young people he shot. We don‘t know the name of the girl who whispered 'No…' or the boy nearby who uttered a feeble 'I’m dying,' as if he was remarking on the oddity of it. The anonymous inventory of murderous violence is awful enough. But in the pages to come, we do learn the names and the life stories of some of the people who died on Utoya that day ... We learn their dreams. We meet their parents, and in time we feel their families’ grief.