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    Debut Novel: The Turtle Warrior

    Mary Relindes Ellis’s extraordinary first novel, The Turtle Warrior, exhibits a depth and range rare in contemporary fiction. Set in rural northern Wisconsin, the story ranges over the Vietnam War, World War II, and most important the vast and unsettled terrain of the human heart.


    POWELL’S ARTICLE “The Big Cow: Writing in Flyover Land”

    MARY’S suggested reading at her Powell’s Bookshelf.

    PHOTOS from recent appearances.

    Second Novel: The Bohemian Flats

    The story of a man caught up in the immigrant culture of a river village in Minnesota and in the throes of World War I.

    “Ellis is a magician with historical details. From walks Raimund takes through Minneapolis neighborhoods, to the sort of food he eats and the sort of beer his Bohemian neighbors brew, the authenticity of his life comes fairly bounding off the page . . .”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 2, 2014

    . . . Raimund learns within two months that the city people regards the Flats with supersitition and fear, based on some truth but mostly stained with the consistent piss of prejudice. He learns that it doesn’t matter if you are Swedish, Irish, Italian, German, Norwegian, or any other ethnicity. Once you live on the Flats you become lumped with the Slovaks and Czechs. You become a Bohemian.

    “This is how Mary Relindes Ellis introduces readers to her riveting new novel, “The Bohemian Flats,” which should go on everyone’s “must read” list for its evocation of a time and place and characters that are fully alive.”

    St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 4, 2014

    “Even if you don’t have any connections to Minnesota, this book will feel like it could be your family’s story. When an author can bring the characters to you in a way that makes you feel their fears, dream their dreams, and rejoice in their triumphs, you know that you as a reader have found something truly special. The landscapes are so rich you can smell the loam of the farms, the sweet burning of the mills, and feel the pulse of the Mississippi as it rushes through the gritty, lovely shacks of Little Bohemia. Everyone works hard, everyone plays hard, and everyone has a dream in this picture of early 1900s America. If you have a heart string, it will most certainly be tugged by one of this summer’s best historical fiction novels. Just read it.”

    Jessilynn Norcross, McLean and Eakin Bookseller, May 22, 2014

    The Bohemian Flats is fascinating for what it tells us about the past, about the pain and pleasure of leaving one home for another, and how world events, family secrets, and entrenched prejudice can follow us from country to country – and era to era.”

    Laura Silver, Minnesota Alumni Magazine, Summer 2014

    Minnesota Public Radio Interview with Tom Weber

    Why the Past Is Critical to Understanding Our Present