Easy to find culture in Ely
We may be living at the end of the road but the opportunities here are not typical of a small town.
One week ago one of the top selling mystery authors in this country made a trip to Ely. William Kent Krueger spoke at the Ely Public Library on a Thursday night.
The room was overflowing with fans and Krueger didn’t disappoint. His fervent presentation was filled with funny stories and connections to his fans living in 55731.
Krueger’s known for his Cork O’Connor novels, based in the fictional town of Aurora, Minnesota. It must be fictional because there’s a Native American owned casino that O’Connor had to investigate in one novel. He was just the man for the job, being part Ojibwe and part Irish.
The rich history of northern Minnesota is mined by Krueger who uses the duality of O’Connor to help tell his stories from multiple viewpoints.
The audience at the Ely Public Library was captivated by Krueger, who spoke for an hour and then stayed to sign books and answer questions.
His 15th O’Connor book, “Manitou Canyon” is scheduled to be released Sept. 6. Krueger gave away an advance copy to the first person who could tell him O’Connor’s middle name. If you weren’t in the room, you better start reading. Check with the library to see if “Iron Lake” is available. Finish that one and you’ll have 14 to go.
We’re very fortunate to have a beautiful library and the ability to have authors such as Krueger pay us a visit. The first part of his presentation was how he discovered books and how important he believes libraries are to our culture.
Krueger is a story teller, both through his writing and speaking to groups. He’s open, honest and willing to share his successes and failures. He’s lived in St. Paul for most of his life and has become one of the state’s beloved adopted sons.
If you’re not into mysteries, you could check out “Ordinary Grace,” a New York Times bestseller. Based in Minnesota as well but this time along the Minnesota River, “Ordinary Grace” shows Krueger’s depth in a new light. He admitted when he was here in Ely it was one of his favorites.
Cultural events like Krueger’s visit to the library happen in Ely regularly. You might have to look for them but you don’t want to miss them.