Some may say that hard times have befallen the art of literary review. Many will point to sluggish and declining book sales as indicative of a growing trend: People just don't read books anymore. But even in the dark night there are bright stars in the sky. Minneapolis, for example, is often cited as the "most literate city," according to polls. And though some independently owned bookstores have struggled and closed over the years, shops such as Magers & Quinn and Common Good Books are still going strong, with in-store events weekly. And then there's Rain Taxi, an award-winning quarterly magazine that critiques and reviews the latest in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The Rain Taxi folks are active in the Minnesota literary community, hosting a free reading series, as well as helming the yearly Twin Cities Book Festival. The publication itself is distributed to more than 250 locations nationwide, as well as maintaining fresh content on its website. Recently it reached a notable milestone: publication of its 50th issue. This Wednesday night, Rain Taxi will throw a bash to raise funds and celebrate all things lit. Bill Mike and Dreamland Faces will provide tunes, a silent auction will serve to raise funds, and partygoers will munch on appetizers and sip on "RainTinis." It's rocking parties like these that remind us that literature is in no way dead.
Wed., Aug. 20, 5:30 p.m., 2008