by Bruce Strand, Arts editor
Genny Zak Kieley, an author living in St. Michael who gained a substantial following with books about her native northeast Minneapolis, is introducing her fifth book and will have a book-signing in Elk River soon.
“BaitStore Angel and Other Stories” is a billed as a collection of down-to-earth, slice-of-life stories filled with heart and humor, each with an unexpected twist. The stories are short, quick reads that center around three themes: growing up in an old fashioned urban neighborhood; empty nest jobs; and marrying a fisherman and adjusting to a new way of life in the suburbs.
Kieley will be signing books Oct. 27 at Maple Grove Art Center.
Her first three books were reflections of “Northeast,” a melting pot of Eastern European, Scandinavian and German ethnic groups, all with their own churches as hubs. Her books sell well locally and she was featured in the Star Tribune and on Channel 2.
“Heart and Hard Work” consisted of tales of immigrants leaving their old countries and finding their niche in Northeast. “Pride and Tradition” had stories about banks, barbers, bakeries, butchers, churches, swimming holes and other staples of life in those neighborhoods.”Roots and Ties” contained more chronicles that sprang from her grandparents’ handmade trunk when it came into her possession.
Her fourth book expanded to the world beyond her roots. “Green Stamps to Hot Pants” was a collection of stores tracking Baby Boomers’ passage from innocent childhoods to teen years in the turbulent 60’s of Vietnam, protests and hippies.