BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR - 2002
Lake Street U.S.A.
Usually when we think of great books we think of those that use words to paint a picture and create an idea of place, time, and emotion. But last year, the most interesting portrait of a time and community was accomplished with literal snapshots (and some fascinating text, too). Lake Street U.S.A. is the book version of Wing Young Huie's public art project of the same name. (The much-celebrated show displayed his photos--some as large as 8 feet by 12 feet--along the street itself, in store windows, bus shelters, and on the walls of abandoned buildings.) The pictures depict Lake Street's residents and visitors, from the yuppies and gutter punks of Uptown on the west end to ex-gang-bangers and recent immigrants on the east side. The best thing about the collection, though, may be that the images defy vague distinctions of class and race. Norwegians and Hmong work side by side, and there's more cross-cultural interaction on this one stretch of asphalt than most outsiders would assume of the whole of Minneapolis.