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A selection of the winners in nonfiction categories from the past ten years. For more information, go to Minnesota Book Awards.

32 listings found. Displaying 1 - 20

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Nonfiction
  Cover Art: Modern Spirit : the Art of George Morrison 2014
Morrison, George
Modern Spirit : the Art of George Morrison
The work of Chippewa artist George Morrison (1919-2000) has enjoyed widespread critical acclaim. His paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures have been displayed in numerous public and private exhibitions, and he is one of Minnesota's most cherished artists. Yet because Morrison's artwork typically does not include overt references to his Indian heritage, it has stirred debate about what it means to be a Native American artist. This stunning catalogue, featuring 130 color and black-and-white images, showcases Morrison's work across a spectrum of genres and media, while also exploring the artist's identity as a modernist within the broader context of twentieth-century American and Native American art.
2013
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: The Nazi and the Psychiatrist : Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII 2014
El-Hai, Jack
The Nazi and the Psychiatrist : Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII
In 1945, after his capture at the end of the Second World War, Hermann Göring arrived at an American-run detention center in war-torn Luxembourg, accompanied by sixteen suitcases and a red hatbox. The suitcases contained all manner of paraphernalia: medals, gems, two cigar cutters, silk underwear, a hot water bottle, and the equivalent of $1 million in cash. Hidden in a coffee can, a set of brass vials housed glass capsules containing a clear liquid and a white precipitate: potassium cyanide. Joining Göring in the detention center were the elite of the captured Nazi regime-Grand Admiral Dönitz; armed forces commander Wilhelm Keitel and his deputy Alfred Jodl; the mentally unstable Robert Ley; the suicidal Hans Frank; the pornographic propagandist Julius Streicher-fifty-two senior Nazis in all, of whom the dominant figure was Göring.To ensure that the villainous captives were fit for trial at Nuremberg, the US army sent an ambitious army psychiatrist, Captain Douglas M. Kelley, to supervise their mental well-being during their detention. Kelley realized he was being offered the professional opportunity of a lifetime: to discover a distinguishing trait among these arch-criminals that would mark them as psychologically different from the rest of humanity. So began a remarkable relationship between Kelley and his captors,told here for the first time with unique access to Kelley's long-hidden papers and medical records.Kelley's was a hazardous quest, dangerous because against all his expectations he began to appreciate and understand some of the Nazi captives, none more so than the former Reichsmarshall, Hermann Göring. Evil had its charms.
2013
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Prairie Silence : a Memoir 2014
Hoffert, Melanie M.
Prairie Silence : a Memoir
A rural expatriate's struggle to reconcile family, home, love, and faith with the silence of the prairie land and its people nbsp; Melanie Hoffert longs for her North Dakota childhood home, with its grain trucks and empty main streets. A land where she imagines standing at the bottom of the ancient lake that preceded the prairie: crop rows become the patterned sand ripples of the lake floor; trees are the large alien plants reaching for the light; and the sky is the water's vast surface, reflecting the sun. Like most rural kids, she followed the out-migration pattern to a better life. The prairie is a hard place to stay--particularly if you are gay, and your home state is the last to know. nbsp; For Hoffert, returning home has not been easy. When the farmers ask if she's found a "fella," rather than explain that-- actually-- she dates women, she stops breathing and changes the subject. Meanwhile, as time passes, her hometown continues to lose more buildings to decay, growing to resemble the mouth of an old woman missing teeth. This loss prompts Hoffert to take a break from the city and spend a harvest season at her family's farm. While home, working alongside her dad in the shop and listening to her mom warn, "Honey, you do not want to be a farmer," Hoffert meets the people of the prairie. Her stories about returning home and exploring abandoned towns are woven into a coming-of-age tale about falling in love, making peace with faith, and belonging to a place where neighbors are as close as blood but are often unable to share their deepest truths. nbsp; In this evocative memoir, Hoffert offers a deeply personal and poignant meditation on land and community, taking readers on a journey of self-acceptance and reconciliation.
2013
Adult Nonfiction Book (Biography)
  Cover Art: Mni Sota Makoce : the Land of the Dakota 2013
Westerman, Gwen
Mni Sota Makoce : the Land of the Dakota
"Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the 1862 U.S.--Dakota War and the resulting exile that sent the majority of the Dakota to prisons and reservations beyond the state's boundaries. But the true depth of the devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their deep cultural connection to the land that is Minnesota. Drawing on oral history interviews, archival work, and painstaking comparisons of Dakota, French, and English sources, Mni Sota Makoce tells the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands for at least hundreds of years prior to exile"--Amazon.com, viewed September 18, 2012.
2012
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Rez Life : an Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life 2013
Treuer, David
Rez Life : an Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life
Novelist David Treuer examines Native American reservation life -- primarily Ojibwe reservation life in Minnesota and Wisconsin -- past and present -- illuminating misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation while also exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture.
2012
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Turn Here Sweet Corn : Organic Farming Works 2013
Diffley, Atina
Turn Here Sweet Corn : Organic Farming Works
When the hail starts to fall, Atina Diffley doesn't compare it to golf balls. She's a farmer. It's "as big as a B-size potato." As her bombarded land turns white, she and her husband Martin huddle under a blanket and reminisce: the one-hundred-mile-per-hour winds; the eleven-inch rainfall ("that broccoli turned out gorgeous"); the hail disaster of 1977. The romance of farming washed away a long time ago, but the love? Never. In telling her story of working the land, coaxing good food from the fertile soil, Atina Diffley reminds us of an ultimate truth: we live in relationships--with the earth, plants and animals, families and communities. A memoir of making these essential relationships work in the face of challenges as natural as weather and as unnatural as corporate politics, her book is a firsthand history of getting in at the "ground level" of organic farming. One of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest, the Diffleys' Gardens of Eagan helped to usher in a new kind of green revolution in the heart of America's farmland, supplying their roadside stand and a growing number of local food co-ops. This is a story of a world transformed--and reclaimed--one square acre at a time. And yet, after surviving punishing storms and the devastating loss of fifth-generation Diffley family land to suburban development, the Diffleys faced the ultimate challenge: the threat of eminent domain for a crude oil pipeline proposed by one of the largest privately owned companies in the world, notorious polluters Koch Industries. As Atina Diffley tells her David-versus-Goliath tale, she gives readers everything from expert instruction in organic farming to an entrepreneur's manual on how to grow a business to a legal thriller about battling corporate arrogance to a love story about a single mother falling for a good, big-hearted man.
2012
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Fool Me Twice : Fighting the Assault On Science in America 2012
Otto, Shawn
Fool Me Twice : Fighting the Assault On Science in America
Reveals how social and policy changes are failing to support scientific research in such key areas as climate change, energy and genetics, counseling readers on how to overcome such challenges as political denials and a lack of scientific government expertise.
2011
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Pioneer Modernists : Minnesota's First Generation of Women Artists 2012
L'Enfant, Julie
Pioneer Modernists : Minnesota's First Generation of Women Artists
In the early twentieth century Frances Cranmer Greenman, Alice Hugy, Elsa Laubach Jemne, Clara Mairs, Evelyn Raymond, Jo Lutz Rollins, and Ada Wolfe established successful careers as artists in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. They played significant roles in the development of the art schools, galleries, and arts organizations that make the Twin Cities a major cultural center today. Yet their strong reputations were eclipsed mid-century by the rise of Abstract Expressionism and other male-dominated modernist movements.
2011
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: A Song at Twilight : of Alzheimer's and Love : a Memoir 2012
Paddock, Nancy
A Song at Twilight : of Alzheimer's and Love : a Memoir
This is one daughter's story of Lois and Ralph Pearson, whose love of life and each other transcended the darkest moments of war, separation, heartache, and family tragedy to achieve a memorable state of grace spanning six decades of marriage.
2011
Adult Nonfiction Book (Biography)
  Cover Art: Carrier : Untangling the Danger in My DNA 2011
Rough, Bonnie J.
Carrier : Untangling the Danger in My DNA
The author explains how test results confirmed that she carried the gene for a rare debilitating condition, prompting her to explore the disease's affects on her mother and grandfather, as well as face tough decisions when deciding whether or not to have her own child.
2010
Adult Nonfiction Book (Biography)
  Cover Art: News to Me : Adventures of an Accidental Journalist 2011
Hertzel, Laurie
News to Me : Adventures of an Accidental Journalist
In this memoir, Hertzel recounts her journey into the world of journalism from starting her first newspaper before she was a teenager to her 18-year career at the Duluth News-Tribune in the 1970s when journalism was a predominantly male profession. She relates the story in the context of the Midwestern city and its people and events like the Congdon murders, the establishment of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and the rise of Indian treaty rights.
2010
Adult Nonfiction Book (Biography)
  Cover Art: North Country : the Making of Minnesota 2011
Wingerd, Mary Lethert
North Country : the Making of Minnesota
Wingerd tells the story of the early history of Minnesota, from the first contact of the native Objibwe, Dakota, and Winnebago peoples with white explorers and trappers, to the US-Dakota War of 1862 and the obliteration of the Indian presence in the minds of white Minnesotan settlers.
2010
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: The Opposite of Cold : the Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition 2011
Nordskog, Michael
The Opposite of Cold : the Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition
In this enjoyable and beautiful book, readers are introduced to the Finnish roots of the sauna, and the role that saunas have played in the Great Lakes region of the US and Canada.
2010
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: I Go to America: Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson 2010
Lintelman, Joy K.
I Go to America: Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson
An intimate and detailed portrait of young Swedish women who chose to immigrate to America in the nineteenth century--why they left, what they found, and how they survived.
2009
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Opening Goliath: Danger and Discovery in Caving 2010
Griffith, Cary J.
Opening Goliath: Danger and Discovery in Caving
Adventure writer Cary Griffith recounts riveting and life-threatening tales of exploration in the limestone caves of southeastern Minnesota and the man-made caves of St. Paul.
2009
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder's Journey Through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows 2010
Nerburn, Kent
The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder's Journey Through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows
In this fictionalized account of actual events, Nerburn brings the land of the northern High Plains alive and reveals the Native American way of teaching and learning with a depth that few outsiders have ever captured.
2009
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: The Compassionate Carnivore: or How to Keep Animals Happy, Save Old Macdonald's Farm, Reduce Your Hoofprint, and Still Eat Meat 2009
Friend, Catherine
The Compassionate Carnivore: or How to Keep Animals Happy, Save Old Macdonald's Farm, Reduce Your Hoofprint, and Still Eat Meat
Looks at the ethical, practical, and economic aspects of raising and eating meat humanely.
2008
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota 2009
Sommer, Barbara W.
Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota
Sommer, an oral historian, relates the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), President Franklin Roosevelt's jobs program created during the Great Depression. The program employed more than 77,000 Minnesota residents who worked in the national forests, state parks, and in soil conservation projects, among others.
2008
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir 2009
Yang, Kao Kalia
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
Presents the journey from refuge camp to America and the hardships and joys of a family's struggle to adapt in a strange culture while holding onto traditions that are passed down from her beloved grandmother.
2008
Adult Nonfiction Book (Biography)
  Cover Art: The Florist's Daughter 2008
Hampl, Patricia
The Florist's Daughter
Prompted by her mother's death, the author reassesses her Midwestern youth as the daughter of a debonair, Czech florist father and an Irish mother with a talent as a storyteller, detailing life during the postwar years and the turbulent sixties.
2007
Adult Nonfiction Book (Biography)
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