Professor's book garners awards
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Bill Meissner is earning critical praise for his novel about a baseball player who discovers a Native American burial ground beneath a ball field he's building.
"Spirits in the Grass," a University of Notre Dame Press title, won a Midwest Book Award in the general fiction category from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. Learn more at undpress.nd.edu.
Forward Magazine, a Michigan bimonthly that reviews titles from independent publishers, named the novel a finalist in its general fiction category.
Midwest Booksellers Association declared it a Midwest Favorite.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune said: "Meissner pulls together threads of race, romance and mystery in this novel about middle age, choices and change."
Wrote a reviewer in Booklist, the magazine of the American Library Association:
PEN/Hemingway prize-winner Susan Power, a Hamline University professor of Lakota ancestry, said: “His words are supple as grass, his language a graceful dance that is a pure joy to read.”
Meissner, an English professor, directs St. Cloud State's creative writing program.
Among his seven published books are two collections of short stories, “Road to Cosmos” (2006) and “Hitting into the Wind” (1994), and a collection of poems "American Compass" (2004).
"Hitting into the Wind," which was published by Random House and then by Southern Methodist University Press, earned book-jacket praise from novelists Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and W.P. Kinsella.
Vonnegut, author of the classic American novel "Slaughterhouse-Five," called Meissner "a storyteller with remarkable gifts."
University of Notre Dame Press published “Road to Cosmos” and "American Compass."