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William Kent Krueger

Call him Kent.

Kent is the author of the New York Times best-selling Cork O’Connor mystery series, which is set in Minnesota’s great Northwoods.  The thirteen books in his series have garnered a number of awards, including back-to-back Anthony Awards for Best Novel, the Barry Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Bush Artist Fellowship, the Minnesota Book Award, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize.  Like so many other authors, his work has been translated into a number of languages, none of which he can read, and optioned (for years and years and years) by Hollywood.

Born in Torrington, Wyoming, to a family who were gypsies by nature if not blood, Kent was raised in a dozen different towns and cities in half a dozen states.  One merit badge shy of Eagle Scout, he graduated from high school and attended Stanford University on a full scholarship.  Near the end of his first—and, as it turned out, only—year there, Kent participated in a takeover of the president’s office during a Vietnam War-related protest.  He was arrested, and his scholarship evaporated.  Instead of returning to college, he began what he thinks of as his Hemingway-school-of-life period.  He logged timber, worked construction, mopped hospital floors.  He married, became a father, and finally got serious about writing.  The result was Iron Lake, the novel that introduced readers to his Irish-Ojibwe protagonist Cork O’Connor.

In March 2013, Kent published Ordinary Grace, which Kirkus, in its starred review, called “A novel that transforms narrator and reader alike.”  Although there is murder at its heart, the novel is really, as the Huffington Post said, “simply a story of people faced with bad events, rising above them to carry on with the help of God’s grace.”  Ask Kent, and he’ll tell you it’s both the best and the riskiest work he’s ever done.

Kent lives with his family in Saint Paul, Minnesota, a city he dearly loves.  He rises every day at dawn and heads off to a nearby coffee shop, where all fifteen of his published novels have been written.

Online Resources


Selected Bibliography

Tamarack County (2013)
Ordinary Grace (2013)
Trickster’s Point (2012)
Northwest Angle (2011)
Vermilion Drift (2010)
Heaven’s Keep (2009)
Red Knife (2008)
Thunder Bay (2007)