Fear and Loving in South Minneapolis
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
184 pages, 140.00 x 210.00 x 25.00 mm
- ISBN: 9781517906054
- Published: November 2020
A veteran Twin Cities journalist and raconteur summons the life of the city after reporting and recording its stories for more than thirty years
Two or three times a week, as a columnist, hustling freelance writer, and genuinely curious reporter, Jim Walsh would hang out in a coffee shop or a bar, or wander in a club or on a side street, and invariably a story would unfold—one more chapter in the story of Minneapolis, the city that was his home and his beat for more than thirty years. Fear and Loving in South Minneapolis tells that story, collecting the encounters and adventures and lives that make a city hum—and make South Minneapolis what it is.
Here is a man who drives around Minneapolis in a van that sports a neon sign and keeps a running tally of the soldiers killed in Iraq. Here is another, haunted by the woman he fell in love with, and lost, many years ago at the Minnesota Music Café on St. Paul’s East Side. Here are strangers on a cold night on the corner of Forty-sixth and Nicollet, finding comfort in each other’s company in the wake of the shootings in Paris. And here are Walsh’s own memories catching up with him: the woman who joined him in representing “junior royalty” for the Minneapolis Aquatennial when they were both seven years old; the lost friend, Soul Asylum’s Karl Mueller, recalled while sitting on his memorial bench at Walsh’s go-to refuge, the Rose Gardens near Lake Harriet. These everyday interactions, ordinary people, and quiet moments in Jim Walsh’s writing create an extraordinary picture of a city’s life.
James Joyce famously bragged that if Dublin were ever destroyed, it could be rebuilt in its entirety from his written works. The Minneapolis that Jim Walsh maps is more a matter of heart, of urban life built on human connections, than of streets intersecting and literal landmarks: it is that lived city, documented in measures large and small, that his book brings so vividly to mind, drafting a blueprint of a community’s soul and inviting a reader into the boundless, enduring experience of Fear and Loving in South Minneapolis.