Top 10 Must-Read Books by Minnesota Authors


Minnesota is home to an abundance of talented authors whose works have left a lasting impact on the literary world. From intricate mysteries to heartwarming tales of love and loss, there is something for everyone in the books penned by minnesota authors. If you’re looking to dive into the world of Minnesota literature, here are the top 10 must-read books by Minnesota authors.

1. “Main Street” by Sinclair Lewis
Written by the first American author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, “Main Street” is a satirical novel that takes a critical look at small-town life in Minnesota. This classic novel offers a fascinating glimpse into the social and cultural landscape of rural America in the early 20th century.

2. “The Song Poet” by Kao Kalia Yang
“The Song Poet” is a poignant memoir that explores the author’s family history and the power of storytelling to preserve cultural heritage. Kao Kalia Yang’s lyrical prose and emotional depth make this book a must-read for anyone interested in immigrant experiences and the power of language.

3. “Stillwater” by Nicole Helget
In “Stillwater,” Nicole Helget weaves a captivating tale of family secrets, forgiveness, and redemption. Set in a small town in Minnesota, this novel delves into the complexities of human relationships and the resilience of the human spirit.

4. “The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse” by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich, a renowned Minnesota author of Native American descent, has crafted a powerful and haunting novel in “The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse.” This poignant story follows the life of a woman who assumes the identity of a Catholic priest in a remote Ojibwe reservation.

5. “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger
“Ordinary Grace” is a moving coming-of-age novel set in 1961 Minnesota. William Kent Krueger’s evocative storytelling and vivid characters make this book a compelling read that explores themes of faith, loss, and the complexities of family relationships.

6. “The Land of Dreams” by Vidar Sundstøl
Vidar Sundstøl’s “The Land of Dreams” is a captivating mystery set in the wild landscapes of Minnesota’s North Shore. This atmospheric crime novel follows the investigation of a brutal murder and delves into the dark history of the region.

7. “Shelter” by Frances Greenslade
“Shelter” by Frances Greenslade is a touching story of a mother and daughter who seek refuge in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. This heartfelt novel explores themes of loss, healing, and the bond between mother and daughter.

8. “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford
While not originally from Minnesota, Jamie Ford’s poignant novel “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” is a must-read for fans of historical fiction. This gripping tale follows the love story between a Chinese-American boy and a Japanese-American girl during World War II.

9. “The Latehomecomer” by Kao Kalia Yang
Another remarkable work by Kao Kalia Yang, “The Latehomecomer” is a powerful memoir that tells the story of her family’s journey from war-torn Laos to a new life in Minnesota. This deeply moving book sheds light on the refugee experience and the importance of preserving cultural heritage.

10. “Theft by Finding” by David Sedaris
While best known for his humor essays, David Sedaris’s “Theft by Finding” offers a unique glimpse into the author’s personal diaries. This candid and hilarious collection of journal entries is a must-read for fans of Sedaris’s quirky and insightful writing.

In conclusion, these top 10 must-read books by Minnesota authors showcase the diverse talents and rich storytelling traditions of the state. Whether you’re a fan of mystery, memoir, or historical fiction, there is something for everyone in the works of these talented writers. So pick up a book by a Minnesota author today and dive into the captivating world of Minnesota literature.

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Joie Lesin – Author of Speculative Fiction

Saint Paul, MN
Joie Lesin is a Minnesota-based author of speculative fiction. The second edition of her novel, THE PASSENGER, will be published by The Wild Rose Press.

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