Prof earns book award

Monday, April 18, 2011

Photo of Mary Wingerd, author of

Mary Wingerd, author of "North Country: The Making of Minnesota."

Photo of Mary Wingerd, author of  Cover from Mary Wingerd's  

Mary Wingerd's revisionist take on early Minnesota history has earned a Minnesota Book Award.

The associate professor of history is the author of “North Country: The Making of Minnesota,” a book that describes nearly two centuries of cooperation, accommodation and peace among disparate peoples.

Her award for best nonfiction book about Minnesota was one of eight announced April 16 in St. Paul.

The Minnesota Book Awards are presented annually by the Friends of the St. Paul Library.

Any book written by a Minnesotan and published in 2010 was eligible. A panel of judges selected the winners from among 32 finalists. There were 293 books nominated.

Wingerd's book is published by the University of Minnesota Press. Read an Outlook magazine feature about "North Country."

Among her previous works is a historical book called "Claiming the City: Politics, Faith, and the Power of Place in St. Paul," published in 2003 by a division of the Cornell University Press.

The other award winners were:

Novel/short story
"Vestments," by John Reimringer, set in St. Paul, is about a man struggling between love and the priesthood (Milkweed Editions).

General nonfiction
"The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition," by Michael Nordskog and Aaron Hautala, looks at the history, culture and practice of saunas (University of Minnesota Press).

Memoir/creative nonfiction
"Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA," by Bonnie J. Rough, examines a genetic condition that affects the author's thinking about having a child (Counterpoint).

"Find the Girl," by Lightsey Darst, is the poet's debut volume, examining girlhood, womanhood and America's interest in missing and exploited children (Coffee House Press).

Genre fiction
"The Tale of Halcyon Crane," by Wendy Webb, concerns a woman who thought her mother had died in a fire years earlier but finds out otherwise as she unearths family secrets (Henry Holt & Co.).

Children's literature

"My Heart Is Like a Zoo," by Michael Hall, is the author's first picture book for children, featuring a bright collection of animals created out of heart shapes (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins).

Young people's literature
"Blank Confession," by Pete Hautman, tells the story of a new kid in town who walks into a police station and confesses to a murder (Simon & Schuster).

Nearly 2,000 voters across the state helped select the Reader's Choice Award, which went to Laurie Hertzel, books editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Her "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," is a memoir about becoming a print journalist in the 1970s in Duluth (published by University of Minnesota Press).

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