Minnesota author, artist discuss inspiration behind new book Nov. 30

val1128MonumentRoadValley Bookseller will host Minnesota author Charlie Quimby and local book artist Wendy Fernstrum at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30.

Seven years ago, Fernstrum interpreted seven lines by Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi in a miniature artist book and gave a copy to Quimby. Three years later, Quimby began work on “Monument Road,” out this month from Torrey House Press. “Monument Road” has been named an Indie Next Great Read and a Big Indie Book for Fall 2013 by Publishers Weekly.

Fernstrum and Quimby will discuss the trail of inspiration behind the book at the event, which is free and open to the public.

“Although my novel is set in a contemporary Western Colorado populated by ranchers, high school thespians, low-lifes and fundamentalist preachers, I kept coming back to this 13th-century Sufi text Wendy’s book introduced me to,” Quimby said. “It became a sort of touchstone for the story. I later discovered the landscapes of the Colorado Plateau and Rumi’s Cappadocia are eerily similar — and the characters are wrestling with the same issues he did, of awareness, desire and embracing the infinite.”

Fernstrum is visual artist and writer whose “Another Poem by Rumi” provides the novel’s epigraph. Her work is exhibited nationally and held in collections across the U.S., including the Walker Art Center and National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Quimby, author of “Monument Road,” is an award-winning Twin Cities writer who has long been active in the design and arts communities. The retired founder of marketing agency Words At Work, he’s currently a board member at The Playwrights’ Center.