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Author to visit Park Rapids

Minnesotan author Lin Enger will read and sign his latest novel, “The High Divide,” from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 at Belle Caffé. The event is co-hosted with Beagle Books & Bindery.

Enger grew up in Minnesota, spending most of his life in the state. He currently lives in Moorhead, where he teaches English at Minnesota State University.

Over the years he has received several awards for his fiction: a James Michener Fellowship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, a Jerome travel grant, and a Lake Region Arts Fellowship. Enger has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow.

His brother, Leif, is the best-selling author of “Peace Like a River,” published in 2001.

Lin’s first novel, “Undiscovered Country,” was published in 2008. His short stories have appeared in “Glimmer Train,” “Ascent,” “Great River Review,” “American Fiction” and other journals. During the 1990s Lin’s brother, the novelist Leif Enger, and Lin had a great time collaborating (as L. L. Enger) on a series of mystery novels.

Set in 1886, “The High Divide” is a Western reinvention of Homer’s “Odyssey.”

“‘The High Divide’ is full of journeys,” writes Enger. “Through the young state of Minnesota and across territorial Dakota and Montana.”

Gretta Pope wakes one morning to discover that her husband is gone. Ulysses Pope has left his family behind on the far edge of Minnesota’s western prairie, with only the briefest of notes and no explanation for why he left or where he’s headed.

It doesn’t take long for Gretta’s young sons, Eli and Danny, to set off after him, following the scant clues they can find, jumping trains to get where they need to go, and ending up in the rugged badlands of Montana.

Short on money and beleaguered by a treacherous landlord, Gretta has no choice but to seek out her sons and her husband as well, leading her to the doorstep of a woman who seems intent on making Ulysses her own.

While out in the Western wilderness, the boys find that the closer they come to Ulysses’ trail, the greater the perils that confront them – until each is faced with a choice about whom they will defend, and who they become.