A luminous debut set along the turbulent shores of Lake Superior

Each day leading up to the April 14 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2012 Novel & Short Story Finalist:

The Long-Shining Waters
Danielle Sosin

 Milkweed Editions

Category Sponsor: Anchor Trust

Lake Superior holds a perennial allure. The Long-Shining Waters follows three women in three different time periods – an Ojibwe woman in the 1620s, a Norwegian settler in the early 1900s, and a seasoned bar owner in 2000. This novel is about their personal stories, societal changes in the region, and the enduring human desire to find meaning when faced with the power of a place like the Great Lakes.


An excerpt from The Long-Shining Waters:

1622. The cold wind off the lake sets the pines in motion, sets their needled tops drawing circles in the sky. It cuts through boughs and they rise and fall, dropping snow that pits the white surface below. The hardened leaves rattle and sail, and the limbs of the paper birch sway, holding the sky in heavy wedges.


Danielle Sosin is also the author of Garden Primitives, a collection of stories (Coffee House Press, 2000). Her fiction has been featured in the Alaska Quarterly Review, and has been recorded for National Public Radio’s “Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story,” and Iowa Public Radio’s “Live From Prairie Lights.” She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.


“In a word, moving. A book I intend to keep a copy of at my lakeside cabin.”
– Minnesota Book Awards judge

“Danielle Sosin has written the first great novel about Lake Superior—and its many ghosts.”
– Minnesota Monthly

“We are plunged, fascinated and chilled, into one of three alternately narrated stories that make up this masterful ode to the sprawling, shape-shifting freshwater sea that is Lake Superior… The construct is brilliant, the prose fine, the characters beautifully developed, the regional sense powerful… This ode to the greatest of all lakes is nothing less than grand.”
– Star Tribune

“Elegant… Through the stories of three women who lived centuries apart, Danielle Sosin explores the spirit of Lake Superior.”
– Pioneer Press

“Sosin writes sensuously detailed prose and distills the emotions of her characters into a profound and universal need for acceptance and love.”
– Publishers Weekly


MPR’s Euan Kerr interviewed Sosin about her book while standing on the shores of Lake Superior, but the force of the winds off the lake were so strong they were forced to beat a retreat to a car.


Award winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. New this year: a post-awards “Epilogue Celebration.” Tickets are available online or by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information.

Have you read The Long-Shining Waters? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!



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