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Independent Bookstore Day was celebrated in Hopkins for the first time in a long time this year. As part of the one-day party, which took place on April 27, Minnesota Book Award Finalist Maureen Aitken did a reading at Cream & Amber in Hopkins, the Twin Cities’ newest bookstore.
“A friend had contacted me to say that she had just been to this amazing new bookstore with a great vibe and a community atmosphere. It was Cream & Amber. Of course I jumped at the chance to support a new, independent bookstore that seeks to build community. I also like that it is owned by two women with a vision. Hopkins is so lucky to have this place. I hope people come out to celebrate.”
Cream & Amber, located at 1605 Mainstreet in Hopkins, is among the hundreds of stores across the country participating in the 2019 Independent Bookstore Day. The first independently owned bookstore to open in Hopkins in more than a decade also serves as a gathering place to enjoy coffee and beer.
Aitken's award-winning book, The Patron Saint of Lost Girls, is a short story collection released in late 2018 by Southeast Missouri State University Press. The book is set in the Midwest in the 1970 and 80s. The protagonist, Mary, is growing up in Detroit, where the recession hits hard, and jobs are scarce. In a set of linked stories, Mary moves to cities across the Midwest looking for work, all the while learning the healing power of dignity from the true patrons: her community of friends and family who teach her to love better, live fuller, and question power.
Author Maureen Aitken is the recipient of the Nilsen Prize. She has also won the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant, the Loft Mentor Award, an award in Ireland’s Fish Short Story Prize, and a grant from the SASE/Jerome Foundation. Stories in her collection have earned two Pushcart Prize nominations and are widely published. She teaches writing at the University of Minnesota, where she received her MFA degree. Her most recent essay on grief and writing is in the April issue of Minnesota Women’s Press.
A preview story about the event at Cream and Amber was published in the MN Sun Sailor Hopkins edition.