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Mevissen is guest author for Wadena's 'Book Ends'

Author Jerry Mevissen will be the special guest at this Saturday's "Book Ends" presentation at The Uptown Café in Wadena, beginning at 11 a.m. (Submitted photo)

Instead of moderating Book Ends in July, Jerry Mevissen will sit in the hot seat and be interviewed by local author Elisa Korenne. Elisa was a guest author at Book Ends in 2017.

Mevissen's book is "Animal Life," a collection of fifteen short stories, each named for an animal. The stories often involve animals, but they feature people who act like animals. "This is my fifth and final book," Mevissen says. "I said at the beginning I had five books in me, one for each grandchild. Time to move on."

Mevissen emigrated to the Greater Nimrod Area in 2000 and began his writing career with a weekly column for the Review Messenger, "Nimrod Chronicles." A selection from three years of columns became a book by the same name published by North Star Press. Four collections of short stories followed — "Broken Hart." "Good Shepherd," "That Reminds Me," and now "Animal Life" all published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc.

"I'm intrigued by the presence of common denominators in recent short story fiction," Mevissen says. "The character Olive Kitteridge in Elizabeth Strout's stories, the resort VacationLand in Sarah Stonich's stories, the clause There's something I want you to do, in Charles Baxter's stories. In "Animal Life," the common denominator is Deputy Sheriff Bear Braham in a rural county seat town that could be Wadena or Park Rapids."

When not writing, Mevissen raises Scottish Highland cattle and Haflinger horses on his farm along the Crow Wing River where many stories are set.

Without devoting hours to writing, Mevissen has graduated to found objects sculpture. "I've been collecting scrap metal parts and pieces that interest me for years," Mevissen says. "With the help of a couple excellent welders, we're turning these objects into art. And if it's not art yet, it will be."

Book Ends is a monthly meet-the-author event at The Uptown Café in Wadena, beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 14. A discussion of books and writing is followed by Q&A, book sales/autographs, and lunch. There is no charge for attending.

Book Ends is hosted by An Open Book in Wadena where copies of "Animal Life" are available before July 14.