Page Turners host mystery author

Published 7:10 am Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It’s the age-old question. If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be?

Many might save a spot at the table for a favorite author. Ten Austin residents will have the chance to do just that Thursday as they have won an opportunity to dine with Minnesota author William Kent Krueger during the 2010 Page Turners event.

Krueger is the most popular author to be featured in the nine-year history of the Austin Page Turners Annual Citywide Reading Event, which takes place this year all day Thursday.

The St. Paul-based writer will bring his tales of Northern Minnesota mystery not only to the select few who join him for lunch Thursday — after winning a drawing at the library — but also to the public at several presentations and discussions throughout the day.

Former Austin Mayor Bonnie Rietz, who helped establish the Austin Page Turners program in 2001, said this year’s event features Krueger’s book “Thunder Bay.”

“This is a wonderful project for the community,” Rietz said. “There has been a lot of excitement about William Krueger. Many book groups in the community put it on their schedules when we announced he was coming.”

“Thunder Bay” is the seventh book in Krueger’s mystery series that is set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist, Cork O’Connor, is the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage — part Irish and part Ojibwe.

The 10th book of his series will be released this September, but Krueger said the Page Turners’ feature is his particular favorite.

It is also the only book of the series that is written in first-person.

“At the heart of it is a love story,” Krueger said. “It is about Henry Meloux, a 90-year-old Ojibwe medicine man…It is a mystery and also the story of how he became the intelligent man he is.”

“Thunder Bay” has won several awards; Kreuger’s works have claimed a Minnesota Book Award, a Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, an Anthony Award, a Barry Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize.

Krueger, who does more than 100 community events a year, said he was looking forward to meeting Austin readers at the Page Turners sessions.

All of the events that are open to the public Thursday are free, Rietz said.

“Minnesota is a great place to be an artist,” Krueger, who is originally from Oregon, said.

“There is a phenomenal community of writers here. And the communities in this state support their writers, their artists and the theater too.”

Krueger’s books will be available for purchase during an open discussion held at the library Thursday afternoon and after an evening presentation.

Friends of the Library, AmericInn and the Austin Public Library are among sponsors of this event.

To learn more about Krueger or his novels, go to www.williamkentkrueger.com. To learn more about the Austin Page Turners or for a complete schedule of events, go to www.austinpubliclibrary.org.

Austin Page Turners

Annual Citywide Reading Event Schedule

Thursday

12 to 12:45 p.m.: Open discussion with Krueger at the library.

1:15 to 2 p.m.: Small group discussion with Krueger in Christgau Hall at the Austin High School.

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Hors d’oeuvres reception at the library for Krueger with members of the Friends of the Library and Floral Club. Friends memberships are available at the door for $10. Books are available for purchase during the reception.

7 to 9 p.m.: Open presentation by Krueger at the library: “For Love or Money?: Six Reasons to Write.” Book signing to follow. Books will be available for purchase.

About the book

The featured title, “Thunder Bay,” can be purchased in Austin at Philomathian Books, 309 N. Main St.

Representatives from Barnes & Noble, Apache Mall-Rochester will sell all of Krueger’s books at the library reception and at his presentation Thursday, with 10 percent of sales contributed to the library.

Sales that occur in the Rochester store on April 23 and online April 23-28 at Barnes & Noble Bookfairs will also quality for the 10 percent contribution. Enter Bookfair ID #10157410 when purchasing online.