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Join us Thursday mornings at 8:20 for Minnesota Reads on Northland Morning, featuring Minnesota authors talking about their work. Funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

MN Reads: “Born in a Red Canoe” by Katharine Johnson

Cover of "Born in a Red Canoe" by Katharine Johnson, dark landscape of forest, sky, woods, and water

Named after a weed and living with a father who resents her for the death of her mother is where we find Katharine Johnson’s protagonist at the beginning of her book Born in a Red Canoe.

As the title suggests, Purslane was born in a red canoe one night as a comet passed overhead. Her mother died during the birth and Purslane’s father – a fallen academic now masquerading as a fortuneteller – keeps waiting for his daughter to exhibit a special talent gifted by the comet.

The general atmosphere places the tale in a timeless environment. The landscape altogether has a fluid feel as characters enter into Purslane’s travels as she seeks out the truth of her origins. "Mystical Realism" is how the author classifies the book. "I wanted most of the setting to be a very secluded, out-in-the-woods kind of thing," says Johnson.

The book is a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in the Young Adult Fiction category. Born in a Red Canoe can be purchased online via Katharine Johnson's website.

Minnesota Reads is produced at The North 103.3 with funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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