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The only thing more powerful than the truth is the truth well-told

Laurie Hertzel

Nonfiction Mentor

In four decades of journalism, Laurie Hertzel has worked as a writer and editor at newspapers and at a magazine and, for 15 years, as the books editor at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minn.

She has held fellowships from Duke University and the James Thurber House; and has won national and regional awards for her writing, including honors from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors and the Society for Features Journalism. In 2023 she was honored with the Kerlan Award, bestowed annually by the University of Minnesota. Hertzel has published short fiction and has reported from the Soviet Union and Cuba. Her memoir, “News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist,” won a Minnesota Book Award. She is co-author of “They Took My Father: Finnish Americans in Stalin’s Russia.” She served two terms on the board of the National Book Critics Circle, including stints as President and also as Chair of the Autobiography Committee. She has taught at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and at Ohio State University. Her work has been anthologized and has appeared in newspapers across the country, as well as in publications in Australia and Finland. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. Now retired from newspapers, Hertzel reviews books for the Star Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and elsewhere.


Selected works:

Review of “Long Island” by Colm Toibin for the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review of “Where Rivers Part” by Kao Kalia Yang for the San Francisco Chronicle 

Review of “The Lede” by Calvin Trillin for the Los Angeles Times

Review of “The Road From Belhaven” by Margot Livesey for the Washington Post