This week's literary pick, says a local institution

My nephew called to let me know I was in today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press, which is known online as I ran out to get a hard copy, even after finding it online.

I’m delighted to find I’m “this week’s literary pick.” Here’s the article by Mary Ann Grossmann, whom my wife says is a local institution.

So I googled the local institution and found an article on why veterinarian author James Herriot is her favorite author that I think encapsulate a lot of wisdom (literary and otherwise). I can see why my wife is touched that Grossmann of all people wrote up a short article on her hubby. (My wife is teary-eyed, still, but it may be that she just learned Twins first baseman Justin Morneau got married over the winter.)

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the second article that I particularly liked.

People often ask me about my favorite author, probably expecting me to wax eloquent about Proust or Shakespeare, so I used to be a little embarrassed to honestly reply, “James Herriot.” But not anymore. After spending a wonderful weekend rereading Herriot’s books, I realized that his writing has everything: finely drawn and colorful characters, empathy for humans and animals, a good story set in a gentler time, humor, respect for uneducated but hard-working people and an appreciation of the land.

But there’s something else in Herriot’s writing that I can’t quite articulate, a glow of decency that makes people want to be better humans. I guess we’d call it spirituality these days, this profound belief of Herriot’s that humans are linked to all animals, whether they be the calves he helped birth or pampered pets like Tricki Woo, Mrs. Pumphrey’s lovable but overfed Pekinese.

I think Grossmann will also like Mamba Point, since that’s exactly what it’s about.

2 thoughts on “This week's literary pick, says a local institution

  1. Way to go! I’m so happy you’re getting all of this wonderful press. I’m going to BookPeople (our local independent) on Tuesday to grab a copy and take a photo of it on the shelf for you 🙂

  2. So glad I’m not invited to dinner at your house this week. But what a GREAT idea, Angela, nothing like making a writer eat his words… And then, as soon as I finished laughing about that, I read the James Herriot piece you posted and found myself sniffling at the keyboard. From laughter to tears in less than five minutes, the mark of a good writer (and blogger,) Kurtis!

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