Neal Karlen

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Neal Karlen is an American journalist and non-fiction writer currently living in Minneapolis.

Early life[edit]

Karlen grew up in a Jewish family in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and attended St. Louis Park High School. [1] He studied Yiddish at Brown University.


Karlen has been a contributing author to many well-known magazines, including Newsweek, The New York Times,[2] and Rolling Stone.[3][4]

He is the author of eight books, and he teaches non-fiction writing at the University of Minnesota's Graduate School of Journalism.

List of books[edit]

  • Take My Life, Please! - Henny Youngman (1991)
  • The Babe in Boyland (1995)[5]
  • Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band (1995)[6]
  • Jen-X: Jenny McCarthy's Open Book (1997)[7]
  • Slouching Toward Fargo: A Two-Year Saga Of Sinners And St. Paul Saints At The Bottom Of The Bush Leagues With Bill Murray, Darryl Strawberry, Dakota Sadie And Me (1999)[8][9][10]
  • Shanda: The Making and Breaking of a Self-loathing Jew (2004) Simon and Schuster.[11]
  • The Story of Yiddish: How a Mish-Mosh of Languages Saved the Jews (2009) HarperCollins.[12]
  • Augie's Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip (2013) Minnesota Historical Society Press.[13][14]


Neal was the recipient of the CASEY Award in 1999 for his book Slouching Toward Fargo.


  1. ^ Jewish Book World. JWB Jewish Book Council. 2004.
  2. ^ Charles R. Cross (13 March 2012). Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain. Hyperion. pp. 201–. ISBN 978-1-4013-0451-5.
  3. ^ Ex- Rolling Stone Writer Neal Karlen Gets Revenge on Jann Wenner | New York Observer
  4. ^ Ronin Ro (25 October 2011). Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks. St. Martin's Press. pp. 133–. ISBN 978-1-4299-5073-2.
  5. ^ New York Media, LLC (22 August 1994). New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. pp. 47–. ISSN 0028-7369.
  6. ^ BABES IN TOYLAND by Neal Karlen | Kirkus
  7. ^ "Book Review: 'JEN-X: Jenny McCarthy's Open Book' Jenny McCarthy, Neal Karlen". Reviewed by Dana Kennedy, Entertainment Weekly, Nov 14, 1997
  8. ^ SLOUCHING TOWARD FARGO by Neal Karlen | Kirkus
  9. ^ "Slouching Toward Fargo: A Two-Year Saga of Sinners and St. Paul Saints at the Bottom of the Bush Leagues with Bill Murray, Darryl Strawberry". Publishers Weekly.
  10. ^ "Review: Slouching Toward Fargo". Baseball Journeyman.
  11. ^ Jewish Book World. JWB Jewish Book Council. 2004.
  12. ^ "Mireille Silcoff: On a tongue with no land and the (j)oys of speaking Yiddish". National Post.
  13. ^ Review: "Augie's Secrets,’ by Neal Karlen takes us back to notorious days of 1930s' Minneapolis Mob | Star Tribune
  14. ^ "Neal Karlen stirs up the mobster ghosts of Hennepin Avenue". MinnPost