Literary picks: Readings: ‘Sea of Tranquility’ and ‘The Adventures, Obsession and Evolution of a Fly Fisherman’

Speculative fiction from Emily St. John Mandel that critics are loving? Or life tales from Dylan Tomine, one of the nation’s most famous fly anglers?

Those are choices readers will have Tuesday, May 17, when these authors make separate appearances in the Twin Cities.

Mandel, author of the widely praised novels “Station Eleven” and “The Glass Hotel,” offers another story of speculative fiction in her most recent book, “Sea of Tranquility.” She will read at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Wednesday at Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, concluding Friends of the Hennepin County Library’s Pen Pals season. Tickets at $45-$55 can be purchased at or by calling 612-543-8112.

“The Sea of Tranquility” tells several stories, set hundreds of years apart, held together by time travel. In 1912 a young Englishman, banished from his family for bad behavior, arrives in Canada. Two centuries later, a writer named Olive Llewellyn has left her home on a moon colony to tour Earth promoting her book about a pandemic, when a real pandemic breaks out. Gasberry-Jacques Roberts breaks the rules of the Time Institute to save Olive and faces consequences.

Critics are loving this book, in which characters and remembered incidents from “The Glass Hotel” appear. The New York Times called it one of Mandel’s “finest novels.” Kirkus enthused: “Even more boldly imagined than ‘Station Eleven.’ Exciting to read, relevant, and satisfying.”

Dylan Tomine, who lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, has been fishing northwestern rivers since childhood and is an activist for wild fish and water. He shares his enthusiasm in his new book “Headwaters: The Adventures, Obsession, and Evolution of a Fly Fisherman,” which he will discuss at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Patagonia, 1648 Grand Ave., St. Paul. The program is free and open to the public.

In his book, Tomine journeys to the Russian Arctic, Japan, Cuba, and British Columbia searching for fish and adventure. The Wall Street Journal called the book “sparkling,” and Publishers Weekly said: “Tomine delivers a work that informs and moves in equal measure. This is sure to reel in readers.”

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