“Marcel’s Letters Book Launch Tonight” lit up the marquee on Washington Avenue South at Open Book in south Minneapolis last Thursday evening. The French-themed fête for the release of Marcel’s Letters exceeded all expectations.

More than 300 people arrived on a hot June night to celebrate with Carolyn Porter. The reception included French pastries, books hot off the presses, and an opportunity to meet some of the “characters” in the book.

Books were available for purchase at the event itself. Good thing, because Milkweed Books, located on the first floor of the Open Book building, had already sold out of all their copies of this new book.

People started to arrive promptly at 6:30 and they kept on coming, filling the Target Performance Hall with the buzz about the new release. The line for book signing kept growing longer and longer. Carolyn Porter signed books until after 9 pm.

Around 7:30 pm, she took a brief break to introduce some special guests to the crowd. Louise, 91-year-young woman who had translated several of Marcel’s letters from French to English, blushed when Carolyn recognized her. Carolyn asked everyone to avoid giving Louise a hug. She explained Louise had recently been in an auto accident which served as a poor excuse to meet attractive firefighters. Dixie, the genealogist who assisted in finding Marcel’s family in France, several members of Type Tuesday, who belong to this group of professional colleagues/font geeks, and Prof. DeHoff, who taught Carolyn’s Letter Form course in college, were also introduced as were her mom and dad, brother and sister-in-law.

The spirit of Marcel Heuze came through with an exhibition of the original letters and post cards for all to view. The yellowed paper, censors’ stripes, stamps, and flourishes of his pen added more depth to this incredible story. Seeing his tiny handwriting using all the available space on the page and leaving no margins to speak of gave further testimony to the importance of his message of love to his wife and daughters.

Marcel was not the only one missing from this event. Kathy Horton was more than a character in this real life story. She was Carolyn Porter’s best friend and first champion for her project. Carolyn took a moment to remember Kathy who lost her battle with brain cancer in October 2016. She would have been so proud of Carolyn and her exquisite new book.

And so is everyone at Swenson Book Development LLC. I hope you love reading this book. Once you are finished reading it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

If you didn’t get a chance to meet Carolyn Porter at her first book event, here are some additional opportunities in the coming weeks:

June 22, 2017 — 7:00 pm. Reading/signing event at Subtext Books, St. Paul.

June 26, 2017 — 6:00 pm. Reading/signing event at White Bear Lake Public Library; free event sponsored by White Bear Lake Area Historical Society.

July 8, 2017 — 2:00 pm. Signing event at Valley Bookseller, Stillwater. Learn more here.

July 9, 2017 — 2:00 pm. Signing event at Barnes & Noble, Roseville.

July 14, 2017 — 10:00–11:30 am. Signing event with Lake Country Bookseller, White Bear Lake.

 

 

 

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Linda J. Spielman
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Carolyn Porter
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Laurel Guy
Schiffer Publications, December 2016

Ira Rabois
Rowman & Littlefield, November 2016