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Rick Harsch reads from Voices after Evelyn



Voices after Evelyn seeks not so much to dig up a cold case—the 1953 disappearance of La Crosse, Wisconsin, babysitter Evelyn Hartley—as re-open its heart.

A fugue of voices across time (cracked, offensive, profound) reverberating toward today, when the phantoms of so-called innocence and greatness grow scarier than anything that took Evelyn away. An unsolved crime that jaundiced the way a town saw itself and its relationship to the outside world is rendered into a polyphonic, farcical, yet accurate visitation to the 1950s Midwest, where banality and inspired caprice make for an odd mix of the hilarious and terrifying.

Rick Harsch is America’s lost Midwest noir genius, an heir to the more lurid Faulkner, an ex-pat living in Slovenia, a master of dialogue. Voices after Evelyn is a fictional take on true crime, and its bloody heart in the real, still-unsolved 1953 disappearance of teenage Evelyn Hartley in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Through that victimization, Harsch makes us look at other victims, survivors too, and throughout the novel, a Greek-style chorus sings songs of rage and loss and puzzlement. Voices after Evelyn is taut and funny, smart and haunting, enraging and true.”—Daniel A. Hoyt, author, Then We Saw the Flames


Rick Harsch appeared on the American literary scene in 1997 with the cult classic The Driftless Zone, followed by Billy Verite and Sleep of the Aborigines (all Steerforth Press) to form The Driftless Trilogy.

Born and bred in the Midwest, Harsch received degrees in sociology and history from UW La Crosse and lived there off and on for 22 years. He migrated to the Slovene coastal city of Izola in 2001.

Rick is also author of Arjun and the Good Snake (2011, Amalietti & Amaliette), Wandering Stone: The Streets of Old Izola (2017, Mandrac Press), and The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas (2018, River Boat Books).

The author lives in Izola still, with his wife and two children.


Event date: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
38 S Snelling Ave
St Paul, MN 55105