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Give a Girl a Knife
A Memoir by Amy Thielen
May 16, 2017
A beautifully written memoir that follows one woman from her childhood in a dysfunctional midwestern family to becoming a chef in New York City and finally her triumphant return home to reclaim and redeem midwestern cooking.
“Give a Girl a Knife made me consider a move to, or at least a summer spent in, rural Minnesota just to be close to Amy and her home kitchen. I’ve read my fair share of chef memoirs—full of heroes, hard nights, and militant discipline. Amy’s story is different. It’s about more than her wacky path through some of New York’s best kitchens; it’s about Amy’s innate need to cook. What is it they say? Writers write. Chefs cook. Amy is the rare example of someone who does both like a boss!” — Vivian Howard, author of Deep Run Roots
“Amy’s story of being true to herself, even when it means going against the grain (and off the grid, both literally and figuratively), is exciting and inspiring. I love how food lures her to return home—but this time on her own terms.” — Andie Mitchell, author of It Was Me All Along
“Fans of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter will enjoy this chef’s memoir of learning to cook in Minnesota and dicing and deep-frying her way through the kitchens of some of New York’s most esteemed chefs.” — AM New York
Amy Thielen, author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook The New Midwestern Table, traces her journey from Park Rapids, Minnesota, to cooking professionally under some of New York City’s finest chefs—including David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten—and then back home again. A love of food and an overwhelming desire to get the hell out of small-town America drive Thielen to New York to seek out its intense culinary world, which she embraces enthusiastically, while her boyfriend finds success in its fickle art world.
After years of living in the city, with frequent trips back home in the summertime, the couple eventually chooses a life deep in the woods, in a cabin Thielen’s husband builds by hand. There Aaron practices his craft while Amy takes the skills she learned cooking professionally and turns them to undoing years of processed foods to uncover true midwestern cooking, which begins simply with humble workhorse ingredients such as potatoes and onions.
Give a Girl a Knife offers a fresh look into New York’s fine-dining scene while also acknowledging a universal nostalgia for home—and a yearning to remake that home so it’s even better than you remember.
AMY THIELEN is the host of Food Network’s Heartland Table and the author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook The New Midwestern Table. She has cooked professionally under some of the most highly regarded chefs in New York City, including David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and now is a contributing editor at Saveur as well as a freelance recipe developer and cooking instructor. She lives in Park Rapids, Minnesota, with her husband and their son.
Odd One Out
A Novel by Quinton Skinner
Prospect Park Books
May 16, 2017
Paperback Original, $16
A literary and emotional mystery about a gifted, eccentric Minnesota family navigating a family crisis with humor and passion.
“Quinton Skinner is like a miner, digging deep into the lives of one family for treasure, and offering it up in lyrical and graceful prose. The characters are endearing and maddening, funny and profane, tender and hopeful—and in Odd One Out, the reader is given both a unique family story and a universal one.” — Lorna Landvik, author of Once in a Blue Moon Lodge
“Quinton Skinner has written a tragic, antic, unhinged domestic drama filled with pratfalls, puke, and dysfunction galore. Also, it’s funny. You know, just like family. Odd One Out is a delight.” — Christopher Noxon, author of Plus One
Think Jonathan Tropper meets Little Miss Sunshine.
When a Minnesota father of three awakens his children late in the night with news that their mother has left him and is bound for California, they set off on a hilarious, emotionally charged cross-country road trip to find her. That trip is just the beginning; it takes another decade for the mystery of what really happened to be revealed—and for the healing to begin. Odd One Out traces this compelling story in three parts, told from three points of view, and unravels the chain of events that forever changes this unconventional, brilliant, damaged, and loving family.
Quinton Skinner is the author of the novels Amnesia Nights and 14 Degrees Below Zero, as well as the nonfiction books Do I Look Like a Daddy to You? A Survival Guide for First-Time Fathers and VH1 Behind the Music: Casualties of Rock. He has written nationally for publications including Variety, Glamour, American Theatre, and in the Twin Cities for all three of its major newspapers. He is currently the senior editor of Minnesota Monthly magazine.
Runs with Courage
Juvenile fiction by Joan M. Wolf
Sleeping Bear Press
October 1, 2016
In 1880, Four Winds, a ten-year-old Lakota girl, must find a way to hold on to her heritage when she is sent to a white boarding school and expected to assimilate.
"Walking in the moccasins of Four Winds is an extraordinary journey. Runs With Courage will both teach and inspire." — Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Skies, and The Quilt Walk.
"Runs with courage is a wonderful story written with great empathy and understanding. The reserach that Ms. Wolf did for this novel is apparent and I fell that she has paid the utmost respsect to the people of the Oceti Sakowin." — Dr. Ann Robertson, Native American studies teacher in the Sioux Falls School District and consultant for the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies.
Ten-year-old Four Winds is a young Lakota girl caught up in the changes brought about by her people's forced move to the reservation. Set in the Dakota Territory, it is the year 1880. Four Winds has been taken away from her family and brought to a boarding school run by whites. It is here she is taught English and learns how to assimilate into white culture. But soon she discovers that the teachers at this school are not interested in assimilation but rather in erasing her culture. On the reservation, Four Winds had to fight against starvation. Now she must fight to hold on to who she is.
Joan M. Wolf has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She began at the age of three when she kicked her dad off his manual typewriter and started typing away. She has been writing ever since. Born in Dickinson, North Dakota, she grew up in Rapid City South Dakota. Now, she lives in Minnesota (following the rule that she must always reside in a state that ends in "ota.")
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