While book awards are not always something that authors think about while writing, being nominated for one is a special honor and a recognition of talent and hard work. Recently, graphic designer and author Carolyn Porter was announced as a 2018 finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards for her memoir Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate (Skyhorse Publishing, June 6, 2017) in the category of Memoir and Creative Nonfiction.
The Minnesota Book Awards process begins with book submissions in the fall, followed by two rounds of judging in the winter. The Friends of the St.Paul Library, designated as the state’s Center for the Book, works to coordinate the book award programs and activities.
On Valentine’s Day, the Friends of the St. Paul Library hosted a reading of Marcel’s letters at the Hamline Midway Library with heart-shaped cookies as part of their Fireside Reading Series. The Minnesota Book Awards is a statewide series of programs connecting Minnesota authors to readers. The finalists, of which Marcel’s Letters is one of four in the category, were announced last month, and the winners of the award will be announced on April 21, 2018 at the annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony.
To those who have read Marcel’s Letters, the book’s nomination may come as no surprise, as Carolyn weaves together the topics of World War II, graphic design, genealogy, and personal discovery, making for a memorable and insightful read.
Marcel’s Letters begins with Carolyn Porter’s search for the perfect handwriting on which to base her font design. When she discovers a set of World War II era letters in a small Minnesota antique store, she can’t help but be drawn to the unique handwriting of the man named Marcel. Out of curiosity, Carolyn has one of the letters translated, and from there begins her journey to uncover the fate of Marcel Heuze, a Frenchman working in Berlin as a forced laborer during World War II. Intertwining the lives of two people decades apart, Marcel’s Letters is the heartfelt true story of one woman’s efforts to solve a mystery while undertaking the meticulous task of designing a type font.
We send our congratulations to Carolyn Porter for her memoir’s selection as a 2018 Minnesota Book Awards finalist. Her gripping, artful memoir certainly deserves the recognition.