William Kent Krueger
|William Kent Krueger|
November 16, 1950 |
Torrington, Wyoming, USA
|Genres||mystery, crime fiction|
|Subjects||Minnesota, Native American Indian Tribes, Anishinaabe (Ojibwe)|
|Notable work(s)||Iron Lake, Cork O'Connor Series|
Bush Artist Fellowship
2006 Mercy Falls
William Kent Krueger is an American author and crime writer, best known for his Cork O'Connor series of books, which is set mainly in Minnesota, USA. In 2005 and 2006, he won back-to-back Anthony Awards for best novel. Only one other author has done this since the award's inception in 1986.
William Kent Krueger has said that he wanted to be a writer from the third grade, when his story, "The Walking Dictionary," was praised by his teacher and parents.
He attended Stanford University but his academic path was cut short when he came into conflict with the university's administration during student protests of spring 1970. Throughout his early life, he supported himself by logging timber, digging ditches, working in construction, and being published as a freelance journalist, he never stopped writing.
He wrote short stories and sketches for many years, but it was not until the age of 40 that he finished the manuscript of his first novel, Iron Lake. It won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best First Novel, the Minnesota Book Award, and the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award.
Marriage and family
Krueger has said his favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. He grew up reading Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James T. Farrell. Most influential among these was Hemingway. In an interview for Shots magazine, Krueger described his admiration for Hemingway's prose,
"His prose is clean, his word choice perfect, his cadence precise and powerful. He wastes nothing. In Hemingway, what’s not said is often the whole point of a story. I like that idea, leaving the heart off the page so that the words, the prose itself, is the first thing to pierce you. Then the meaning comes."
Krueger prefers to write early in the morning. Rising at 5.30 am, he goes to the nearby St Clair Broiler, where he drinks coffee and writes long-hand in wirebound notebooks.
He began going to the diner in his 30s when he had to make time for writing early in the morning before going to work at the University of Minnesota. He continues the habit, and today has his "own" booth there. In return for his loyalty, the restaurant has hosted book launches for Krueger. At one, the staff wore T-shirts emblazoned with "A nice place to visit. A great place to die."
Setting in the Cork O'Connor series
When Krueger decided to set the series in northern Minnesota, he realized that a large percentage of the population was of mixed ancestry. In college, Krueger had wanted to be a cultural anthropologist; he became intrigued by researching the Ojibwe culture and weaving the information into his books. Krueger's books are set in and around Native American reservations. The main character, Cork O'Connor is part Ojibwe, Irish.
Krueger has read the first Ojibwe historian, William Whipple Warren, as well as Francis Densmore, Gerald Vizenor and Basil Johnston. He has also read novels by Louise Erdrich and Jim Northrup. Krueger began to meet and get to know the Ojibwe people and remains fascinated by their culture.
His descriptions are meant to express his characters' feelings about the settings. Krueger believes that the sense of place is made resonant by the actions and emotions of the characters within it. He describes it as "a dynamic bond that has the potential to heighten the drama of every scene."
Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster Hardcover (1998), ISBN 0-671-01696-2
Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster Paperback (1999), ISBN 0-671-01697-0 Recorded Books (2010), ISBN 1-4407-5520-5, ISBN 978-1-4407-5520-0
Atria Books Hardcover 2012, ISBN 978-1451645675
- Bush Artist Fellowship (1988)
- Loft-McKnight Fiction Award (1998) Iron Lake
- Minnesota Book Award (1999) Iron Lake
- Anthony Award for Best First Novel (1999) Iron Lake
- Barry Award for Best First Novel (1999) Iron Lake
- Friends of American Writers Prize (1999)
- Minnesota Book Award (2002) Purgatory Ridge
- Readers Choice Award (2003)
- Anthony Award for Best Novel (2005) Blood Hollow
- Anthony Award for Best Novel (2006) Mercy Falls
- Minnesota Book Award (2007) Copper River
- Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (2007) Thunder Bay
- Dilys Award (2008) Thunder Bay
- Minnesota Book Award (2008) Thunder Bay
- Midwest Booksellers Choice Award (2013) Ordinary Grace
- ""The Anthony Awards" - description and lists of winners". Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "Interview with William Kent Krueger". Shots Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- "William Kent Krueger". City Pages. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- "Simon and Schuster Interview with William Kent Krueger". Retrieved 2008-05-20.[dead link]
- "Interview with William Kent Krueger". Book Reporter. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- "Minnesota public radio interview with William Kent Krueger". Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "Miystery Ink interview with William Kent Krueger". Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "Minnesota Crime Wave". Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "Mystery Writers of America". Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "On the Trail of William Kent Krueger - resource page". 2009-11-07.