"Shotgun Lovesongs is, in many ways, a quiet novel. The reader is allowed to sit with the characters, and to be moved by their emotions and their bonds of love and friendship. While the sense of place is very strong, it still relates to most rural communities (and is therefore relatable for many readers). The Awards Committee appreciated the characters’ flaws and depth and the novel’s multiple points of view, each adding another layer to the story. Mr. Butler’s excellent descriptions bring both the setting and the people into focus for readers. This is a novel that lingers in the readers’ mind, with big thematic moments but not artificial melodrama." From: WLA Award Announcment.
Let Him Go is the story of George and Margaret Blackledge living in 1951 North Dakota. They’ve lost their only son and now their 4-year-old grandson has been taken away as well. Margaret is determined to get him back and George, who is just about done with life, nevertheless does what he can to help her. “Watson is the master of spare prose.
Larry Watson, who taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for 25 years before joining the faculty at Marquette University. Read the Award Winner Announcement.
The Wisconsin Library Association has chosen Close is Fine: Stories by Eliot Treichel, who grew up in the Fox River Valley and now lives in Eugene, OR, as the winner of the 2013 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award, given for the highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author for a book published in 2012. Close is Fine is a collection of stories set in small-town Wisconsin. If you’ve spent time in rural Wisconsin (or rural anywhere in the US) then you’ve met the people he writes about. The writing is honest and pulls no punches and Treichel’s ability to put you into the lives of his characters is powerful.
Read the WLA Award Announcement
A young Pakistani boy, whose parents left the fundamentalists behind when they came to America, finds transformation and a path to happiness through a family friend, Mina, who shows him the beauty and power of the Quran.
Tom Mahoney is the golden boy everyone knew in school: good-looking, charming, an athlete---sought after by women, the envy of men. His success in life seems a foregone conclusion. In The Appearance of a Hero, Tom navigates the passage into adulthood, his story chronicled from every perspective but his own.
In 1991, McGlynn's closest friend and a fellow swimmer is found murdered on his living room floor. As the crime goes unsolved, he is vulnerable and searching for answers. This book charts the violent origins of one young man's faith and the struggle to find meaning in painful uncertainties.
An inspiring story that takes readers on a gripping, profound, and uplifting dogsled ride to the Iditarod and beyond, on a journey of survival and healing.
From award-winning poet John Koethe, a rich and resonant new collection that moves easily between autobiographical anecdote and philosophical reflection.
This collection of poems is brave and poignant. Written from the perspective of a mother whose daughter has the the rare genetic condition 1p36 Deletion Syndrome, the poetic voice speaks to any nurturer, any parent, any caring soul. The reader is brought to the edge of metaphoric cliffs of chaos, love—and hope." -- from publisher's web site.
Sailing to Babylon, James Pollock's debut collection, is filled with poems of exploration and discovery: a schoolboy's fascination with his teacher; a Bible inherited from a grandmother; an extended Dantean hike in terza rim.
Based on hundreds of interviews and documents, this book chronicles the forces that shaped the first black president of the United States and explains why he thinks and acts as he does.
In a compelling saga of redemption and renewal, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner tells the story of rebuilding his family's ancestral home in Lebanon amid political strife, and his eventual understanding of the emotions behind the turbulence in the Middle East.
As three women search for identity and belonging, each faces a very personal decision that will reverberate across generations, tearing apart families, real and imaginary, perfect and flawed, but ultimately bringing them together again.--from publisher's description
A compelling story of young love and old secrets. Ben Hanson's aimless life has bottomed out after a series of bad decisions, but an unexpected offer from his father draws him home to Wisconsin. There, he finds his family fractured, still reeling from his cousin's mysterious death a decade earlier.
Acclaimed author Perry returns with the tale of Tom Hartwig, an old-timer best known locally for building and firing homemade cannons. Famous for driving a team of oxen in local parades, Tom has an endless reservoir of stories dating back to the days of his prize Model A.