Minnesota writer William Kent Krueger on the importance of place

Talking Volumes: William Kent Krueger, Cork O’Connor Mysteries

Minnesota author William Kent Krueger has written 19 books that star his primary protagonist, private investigator Cork O’Connor.

But just as central to his writing is the landscape of Northern Minnesota. It’s more than a setting. It’s a character.

“I write profoundly out of a sense of place,” Krueger told MPR News host Kerri Miller at a special spring Talking Volumes earlier this month. “When I used to teach writing, I taught place as character. Place is one of the most important and versatile characters in any story.”

Don’t miss this warm and revealing conversation between Miller on Krueger, recorded on stage at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.

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They talk about the development of O’Connor as an Irish-Ojibwe man, how Anishinaabe mythology shaped Krueger’s writing and why he believes mysteries should not be underestimated as classic literature. Krueger also shares the jaw-dropping prologue for his next stand-alone novel, “The River We Remember,” which comes out later this year.

Miller and Krueger were joined on stage by musical guests Clancy Ward and Kyle Orla.


Use the audio player or video player above to listen to the conversation.

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