Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is Laurie Hertzel reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Laurie Hertzel, author of the memoir, News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist.

Her entry begins:
I just finished Stewart O'Nan's Emily, Alone, and I am trying to figure out how such a quiet book could be such a page-turner. The story centers on Emily Maxwell, an elderly widow who lives with her old dog, Rufus, in Pittsburgh. During the course of about a half-year--from Thanksgiving to early summer--we follow Emily through her days. She listens to classical music on the radio, goes out for breakfast with her sister-in-law, Arlene (always on Tuesday, and always at the same place, because they have a coupon), naps in the winter afternoons, hosts her children and grandchildren at holidays. The details of her life are tenderly and carefully wrought by O'Nan, and while Emily is her own fully-drawn character, she resonates--I could see glimpses of my mother, and of my mother-in-law, and of other dear women of that generation.

O'Nan dips gracefully into Emily's memories, giving her a full life that she remembers and cherishes, and those scenes of the past become some of the most...[read on]
About Hertzel's memoir, News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist:
Laurie Hertzel wasn't yet a teenager in Duluth, Minnesota, when she started her first newspaper, which she appropriately christened Newspaper. Complete with the most sensational headlines of the day-MARGO FLUEGEL HAS ANOTHER BIRTHDAY!-and with healthy competition from her little brothers and their rival publication, Magapaper (a magazine and a newspaper), this venture would become Hertzel's first step toward realizing what her heart was already set on: journalism as her future.

News to Me is the adventurous story of Hertzel's journey into the bustling world of print journalism in the mid-1970s, a time when copy was still banged out on typewriters by chain-smoking men in fedoras and everybody read the paper. A coming-of-age tale in more ways than one, Hertzel's eighteen-year career at the Duluth News Tribune began when journalism was a predominantly male profession. And while the newspaper trade was booming, Duluth had fallen on difficult times as factories closed and more and more people moved away. Hertzel describes her climb up the ranks of the paper against the backdrop of a Midwestern city during a time of extraordinary change. She was there during major events like the Congdon murders, the establishment of the BWCA, and the rise of Indian treaty rights, and eventually follows the biggest story of her life to Soviet Russia-and completely blows her deadline.

Written with the insight and humor of someone who makes a living telling stories, News to Me is the chronicle of a small-city newspaper on the cusp of transformation, an affectionate portrait of Duluth and its people, and the account of a talented, persistent journalist who witnessed it all and was changing right along with it-whether she wanted to or not.

(Oh, Newspaper doggedly outlasted the full-color Magapaper).
Learn more about Laurie Hertzel and News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist, and visit the Three Dog Blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Laurie Hertzel and Riley.

Writers Read: Laurie Hertzel.

--Marshal Zeringue