Page Turners to take readers on a quest with this year’s City Wide Read selection

Published 8:12 pm Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Austin Page Turners are casting a spell with their latest pick for the City Wide Read.

The book club announced Thursday afternoon that the 2024 choice is “Ink Blood Sister Scribe,” the debut fantasy novel from Minnesota author Emma Törzs.

It marks the first fantasy novel chosen by the Page Turners, who also announced that the date of Törzs’ visit will be May 2.

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“This is a different route for us to go,” said the Page Turners’ Bonnie Rietz. “But we try to choose something we haven’t done before.”

“Ink Blood Sister Scribe” follows three sisters described as quirky and endearing and whose family has served as guardians of a collection of magical spell books sought by many over the years.

A teacher of creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Törzs was described by Page Turners member Jessica Raines-Jones as a character-first author.

“(Törzs) considers this as a work of speculative fiction,” Raines-Jones said. “She has to know the characters and then the story comes next.”

Raines-Jones describes Törzs’ writing as prose that relates to her poetry background.

“You kind of get sucked in,” she said. “She wrote poetry and you can tell that by the way she writes.”

While the date of Törzs’ visit has been set, the activities that usually accompany the event have yet to be established and is part of a process that takes place throughout a cycle each year. 

No sooner does an event finish, then the search for the next author’s pick begins.

This year, Bruce Richardson said, the initial slate of authors up for consideration by the group was eight.

“Every member of the committee tries to read all the books,” Richardson said. “It usually comes down to 2-3 that we were mostly interested in.”

The aim is always to get a Minnesota author. After that they look for new authors they can highlight.

The City Wide Read began in 2002 with the book “A Place the Sea Remembers,” by Sandra Benitez.

Copies of “Ink Blood Sister Scribe” are available at Sweet Reads Books and Candy for purchase and around 30 copies of the book are available at the Austin Public Library for check out, as well as other formats including audiobooks.

Past Authors of the Page Turners Citywide Read  

2002 Sandra Benitez: A Place Where the Sea Remembers  

2003 Tim O’Brien: The Things They Carried  

2004 Erin Hart: Haunted Ground  

2005 Patricia Hampl: St. Paul Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald  

2006 Larry Engelmann: Daughter of China  

2007 Lorna Landvik: A choice of her novels  

2008 Will Weaver: Sweet Land: New and Selected Stories  

2009 Leif Enger: So Brave, Young and Handsome  

2010 William Kent Krueger: Thunder Bay  

2011 Kao Kalia Yang: The Latehomecomer 

 2012 Ron Handberg: Deadly Reunion  

2013 Peter Geye: Safe From the Sea  

2014 P.S. Duffy: The Cartographer of No Man’s Land  

2015 Sarah Stonich: Vacationland  

2016 Allen Eskens: The Life We Bury  

2017 Faith Sullivan: Good Night Mr. Wodehouse 

2018 Amy Thielen: Give a Girl a Knife  

2019 Loretta Ellsworth: Stars Over Clear Lake  

2021 Alison McGhee: Never Coming Back  

2022 Diane Wilson: The Seed Keeper  

2023 Cary J. Griffith: Wolf Kill

2024 Emma Törzs: Ink Blood Sister Scribe