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Minneapolis' Rain Taxi keeps tabs on the literary scene

August 12, 2008 | 10:54 am

Minneapolis0812

Minneapolis, the setting for the new, eclectic mystery "The Man in the Blizzard," is home to a lively literary scene. Its most exportable component is undoubtedly Rain Taxi, a quarterly review of books.

Independent, more than a decade old and printed on good old newsprint, Rain Taxi has just published its 50th issue. A look at its table of contents demonstrates its diversity.

In this one issue, there are reviews of major novelists (Cynthia Ozick's "Dictation", a look back at Neal Stephenson's "Zodiac") and outsiders like longtime expatriate Tom Bradley ("Lemur"). There is an essay by Brian Evenson, the novelist who runs the creative writing program at Brown University, and an interview with Ron Hansen, author of "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and the new "Exiles." Nonfiction reviews range from "Melville: The Making of a Poet" to "Let's Talk About Love," a critical examination of the record by Celine Dion. There are reviews of poetry and audio and graphic novels, including a look at "Witness," a compilation of wordless graphic novels published between 1918 and 1951.

While all of the above are only available in print, the summer's online offerings include a prescient review of an anthology of essays about the work of poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Next Wednesday Rain Taxi will celebrate its 50th issue in Minneapolis. For those of us who can't be there, subscriptions — a tax-deductible $35 — are also an option.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo by Matt Laws via Flickr

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