View Mobile Site

Manteca grad earns best novel recognition

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED May 8, 2014 1:52 a.m.

William Kent Krueger has scored again.

The 1969 Manteca High graduate’s latest book “Ordinary Grace” is the winner of the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for the best novel in 2013.  

Krueger received the honor last week during ceremonies in New York City for his story of a Minnesota teen’s tragic coming of age in 1961.

The book made the New York Times Best Seller list and is published by Atria Books.

An excerpt reads as follows, “New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family—which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother—he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.”

Krueger worked as an inserter at the Manteca Bulletin during his senior year in high school to earn money to attend Stanford University. 

The small-town Manteca flavor he experienced first-hand is infused in many of his writings, as he noted in a 2012 interview, “I write often of small town life in my books, and my experiences in Manteca have certainly added richness to the depictions. Manteca has claim to a good deal of territory in the real estate of my heart.”

Krueger was among the 30 authors at the inaugural Great Valley Bookfest in 2012.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...