Why My Novel Is Set in Minneapolis

I lived in Minneapolis for a few years, some years ago, and during that time I came to love the town and the quaint Midwestern customs of its citizens. People smiled at you on the street—without asking for money. If you were lost, they gave you directions—without asking for money. They even assisted the elderly […]

Last Tango for the Cul-de-Sac of Love

The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Craig’s List is a colder and more lonely place these days as foreclosures reach a feverish pace in otherwise sleepy places like Anoka County. Cul-de-sacs once buzzing with activity and excitement now lie fallow. Residents no longer stumble, drunk in hedonistic delight, from house to house, relieving boredom and ennui with the […]

Murder by Numbers

Viewed through the prism of memory, some years take on a character, a distinctive tone. In 2006, crime reclaimed its place on the front pages of newspapers across the United States, including the Star Tribune. And in this year of murder, Courtney Brown and Trevor Marsh were like twin poles on a violent globe. Brown […]

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The Long Walk

A year ago, I made a trip to Copenhagen, which is arguably one of the most walkable cities on the planet. Despite the presence of real winter—it was snowy and around twenty-five degrees while I was there—the streets were full of people walking, to shops and parks and jobs, as well as to and from […]

Can the Public Library (and Democracy) Survive?

On the third floor of the temporary library in downtown Minneapolis—a retrofitted office building that once housed the Federal Reserve Bank—a skinny man with a shock of white hair paced hurriedly up and down the aisles carrying a bouquet of roses wrapped in a wad of shredded newspaper. He looked disheveled, a little like Sam […]

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