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"Mid-List" is a word that doesn't get much play any more in the book world. In the old days most publishers had a "mid-list" section of books for sale. These were good books, but books that didn't promise to make a lot of money right away. They weren't at the bottom of the heap, but not at the top, either, at least in terms of sales. This all changed a quarter century ago when Congress -- in its wisdom --decided to tax publishers' inventories, just as it taxes the nuts and bolts and nails in storage at hardware manufacturing companies.
Two books about politics for your consideration this month. Thomas Mallon, author of "Dewey Defeats Truman" and six other novels is out with a book about the McCarthy Era -- Joseph not Eugene. It's called "Fellow Travelers" and involves the gay life and politics in Washington, D.C. Tim Laughlin, a recent Fordham grad, devout Catholic and gay person comes to Washington as an intern at a newspaper. At a cocktail party thrown by Tailgunner Joe, he meets a State Department official Hawkins Fuller and falls in love with him.
The State Patrol identified the 47-year old Hudson man who was killed in a rear-end crash on I-94 and Radio Drive just after midnight Friday. According to witnesses and state patrol reports the accident occurred at 12:10 a.m.
A "Safe and Well" Web site is being operated by the American Red Cross which allows individuals to register themselves as safe and well, and for family members to check on loved ones. The Web site is available at www.safeandwell.org . Indviduals can also call the American Red Cross at 612.871.7676. According to the Red Cross a family assistance center has also been set up at the Holiday Inn-Metrodome, located at 1500 Washington Ave. in Minneapolis.
Years ago, I was a regular on Steve Benson's Minnesota Public Radio talk show. Every week, we'd meet a different author coming through town. One day it turned out to be one of my favorite essayists, Roy Blount Jr. During the show Blount expressed the highest regard for Minnesota's Garrison Keller. Little wonder. The more I read of Blount, the more I think of Keller, our very own informal essayist par excellence. Blount, who has moved his body to the northeast where he is president of the Author's Guild, remains in my book the southern version of Keller.