Please join us in celebrating the launch of Dianna Hunter’s latest publication, “Clouded Waters,” a mystery/romance novel set in what we now call the Mesabi Range in Minnesota, published by Holy Cow! Press.
While reading, Dianna will be accompanied by local musician Lisa Kane. Following the reading, we will have the opportunity to explore the Dianna Hunter Papers collection, which is archived in the University of Minnesota’s Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection.
The collection’s curator, Aiden Bettine, will be available to help guests explore the papers, and enjoy a tour of the Tretter Collection housed in the Elmer L. Andersen Library’s geology-friendly underground caverns (pre-registration required).
“Clouded Waters” is a mash-up of whodunit, Sapphic romance, and dispatches from the Anthropocene. Susan B. Ellingson (SB to those who know her) publishes a struggling newspaper with the help of her best friend and a part-time staff. Near the mining town of Iron, Minnesota, waters split along a three-way divide, carrying minerals and contaminants to Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico.
When a corporation seeks a permit to dig for copper and nickel and store potentially harmful mining waste nearby, locals divide into pro-mining and clean water camps. SB commits to covering the story, even as she wrestles with political, financial, and family stresses. Her mother-in-law leads a group of Ojibwe and Métis grandmothers fighting to protect the water. Her dead wife lingers in spirit. Their children have grown and left home, and her Labrador provides sweet but insufficient company. When an intriguing new woman comes to town, SB doesn’t want to trust her intuitions. After a fiery environmentalist informs her that a local water scientist has gone missing, she follows a trail of evidence from a tiny, off-grid community into a global tangle of lies, corruption, whistleblowing, and danger.
“‘Clouded Waters’ takes us deep into the Minnesota north country, where the combustible mix of environmental values and the needs of business and local employment vie with each other, producing hot-blooded emotions with deadly results. Combining both mystery and romance, Hunter gives us a story that speaks to many of the deepest divisions in America today. Highly recommended.”
—Ellen Hart, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master
Dianna Hunter is a Minnesota writer, educator, urban grower, and forager. “Clouded Waters” (October 10, 2023) is Dianna’s first novel. Dianna’s memoir, “Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life” (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), and nonfiction “Breaking Hard Ground: Stories of the Minnesota Farm Advocates” (Holy Cow! Press, 1996), were finalists for the Minnesota Book Award. After coming out, she contributed to the early Minneapolis lesbian journal, So’s Your Old Lady, and lived with other lesbians on farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She later ran her own dairy farm and worked as a farmers’ advocate before earning an MA in English (Creative Writing) from Iowa State University. She directed programs in writing and gender equity, as well as teaching writing and women’s and gender studies at four universities, including the University of Minnesota Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She has published, read, and performed short stories, poetry, journalism, and creative nonfiction in regional and national venues such as Feminist Collections, Hurricane Alice, Peregrine, Earth Matters, the Rural Women’s Studies Association blog, and In These Times Rural America blog.
St. Paul singer-songwriter Lisa Kane will perform a few songs that resonate with passages from Clouded Waters. Her musicianship emerged from her first album in 1995 with Twin Cities all-female metal band Zelpha Trippe and has evolved through nine fully produced albums with various musical collaborators. In addition to writing and performing, she has been an active member of the queer community for 30 years, working against domestic violence and sexual assault, serving as a past board member of Project 515 for marriage equality, and co-founding Saint Paul Seniors Pride in the Park.
What: “Clouded Waters” Book Reading, with author Dianna Hunter | Music by Lisa Kane | Pop-Up Exhibit of Dianna Hunters Papers held in the Tretter Collection | Optional Tour of the Jean-Nikolaus Tretter Collection (limited spots, registration required)
When: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 | Program begins at 6 p.m. | Reception with book signing and pop-up exhibit viewing at 7 p.m. | Rolling cavern tours from 7 to 7:45 p.m.
Where: Elmer L. Andersen Library | Parking and directions
Sponsored by: The Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies, Holy Cow! Press, Quatrefoil Library, and L Spot Shop