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Maureen Aitken reads from The Patron Saint of Lost Girls

It’s the Midwest in the 1970-80s, and Mary is growing up in Detroit, where the recession hits hard, and jobs are scarce. In a set of linked stories, Mary tries to conjure the spirits of protection to confront economic struggle, violence, addiction, and death.

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. An ode to the creative spirit’s ability to transcend hardship, The Patron Saint of Lost Girls paints an unflinching portrait of women’s resilience in the face of injustice.


Maureen Aitken has a keen eye for piercing detail and the stamina to render relationships in all their messiness, in all their glorious complication. These fourteen beautifully crafted stories of art, lust, love and family vacations will delight your ear and open your heart.” –Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted.

This is a magical book of stories weaving webs of surprise and wonder that bind your very flesh and bones, and like all strong magic, they can turn so dark you’re afraid of your own breathing until Aitken leads you back into the familiar light. The Patron Saint of Lost Girls is a real find—a book you’ll carry with you to read and reread because Maureen Aitken is an original! –Jonis Agee, author of The Bones of Paradise
Maureen Aitken is the recipient of the Nilsen Prize. Her collection of stories is forthcoming in 2018. 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 have been published in journals such as Prairie Schooner, The Journal, Night Train, Puerto del Sol and the international anthology, The Bering Strait and Other Stories. She teaches writing at the University of Minnesota, where she received her MFA degree.

Event date: 
Saturday, October 6, 2018 - 2:00pm
Event address: 
38 S Snelling Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
The Patron Saint of Lost Girls (Nilsen Prize for a First Novel Winner) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780997926279
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Southeast Missouri State Univ Press - October 8th, 2018