2017 Featured Authors and Speakers
BOND’s 2017 BOOK AUTHOR fundraiser event took place the evening of Tuesday, August 22, 2016 at Beth El Synagogue and through lunch on Wednesday, August 23 at Oak Ridge Country Club.
Duchess Harris is a professor and chair of the American Studies Department at Macalester College, specializing in Black Feminism, U.S. law and African American Political Movements.
Her latest book, Hidden Human Computers, is about the Black women who did mathematical calculations for John Glenn to go to the moon.
Duchess was motivated to write this book with Sue Bradord Edwards because her grandmother was in the group of the first 11 recruited to work at NASA. She also co-authored Black Lives Matter.
Duchess was a Mellon Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania who earned a PHD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She spent her final year in grad school as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School. She received her Jurist Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law. In 2015 the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers chose her to received the Profiles in Courage Award and this summer she was honored at NASA.
Minneapolis writer Caren Stelson relates an event in a Minneapolis park on August 26, 2005 that changed her life. It was a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A Japanese woman who had survived the bombing of Nagasaki spoke that day, and five years later, Caren tracked Sachiko Yasuri down to ask her if she could share her story. Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story has been long listed for the 2016 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.
Born in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, Kao Kalia Yang came to Minnesota in the summer of 1987 when she was six, along with her parents and older sister, Dawb. Kalia says that while her sister mastered the English language quickly, she struggled for many years, finally discovering that her gift lay not in the spoken, but in the written word. Yang credits her older sister, Dawb, with awakening an interest within her: Yang also credits her 9th grade English teacher, Mrs. Gallatin, with recognizing and encouraging her talents.
Kalia graduated from Carleton College with a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies and Cross-cultural Studies. She received her Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University in New York City. As a teacher she won the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Faculty in American Studies and English at Carleton College.
In 2009 The Latehomecomer won the Minnesota Book Award for memoir/creative nonfiction as well as the Reader’s Choice Award – the first book to ever win two awards.
Kalia’s second book, The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father, is the winner of the 2017 Minnesota Book Award in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Kalia is a member of Hmong ethnic minority and is now an American citizen. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.
Willam Kent Krueger is an American author and crime writer, best known for his series of novels featuring Cork O’Connor, which are set mainly in Minnesota.
In 2014, his stand-alone book, Ordinary Grace, won the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2013.
Bill has said that he wanted to be a writer from the third grade, when his story The Walking Dictionary was praised by his teacher and parents.
He attended Stanford University but his academic path was cut short when he came into conflict with the university’s administration during student protests in spring 1970. Throughout his early life, he supported himself by logging timber, digging ditches, working in construction and being published as a freelance journalist; but he never stopped writing.
He wrote short stories and sketches for many years, but it was not until the age of 40 that he finished the manuscript of his first novel, Iron Lake. It won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best First Novel, the Minnesota Book Award and the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award. His newest book, released in August 2017, Sulfur Springs has been highly anticipated.
He is married, has two children and lives in St. Paul. He does all his writing in a small St. Paul coffee shop and attributes his success as a writer to all those wonderful stories he read as a child.