From a bar hosting its nightly Sad Hour to the moonlit sandbox of a retired army general, Jim Heynen's new collection of micro fiction presents character sketches of strange yet fascinating men and women. Modeled after Theophrastus' "Characters" -- brief, verbal snapshots of people created by the Greek philosopher -- Heynen captures not just the quirks and eccentricities of his characters, but also their humanity. Guilty of only ordinary and forgivable sins, these sketches reveal universal human idiosyncrasies as much as they do the individual characters. Paired with the wonderfully evocative illustrations of renowned illustrator Tom Pohrt, "Ordinary Sins" will appeal to story lovers and collectors of beautifully made books alike.
A widely published author, Jim Heynen is perhaps best known for his collections of short prose featuring young farm boys: The One Room Schoolhouse (Knopf, 1993; Vintage, 1994), The Boys’ House (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001), You Know What is Right (North Point Press, 1985), and The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap (Graywolf, 1979). His most recent collection of poems is titled Standing Naked: New and Selected Poems (Confluence Press, 2001). He has written two young adult novels, Cosmos Coyote and William the Nice (Henry Holt, 2000; Harper-Collins, 2001) as well as Being Youngest (Henry Holt, 1997), and one major book of nonfiction, One Hundred Over 100 (Fulcrum, 1990), which featured one hundred American centenarians. He has frequently been featured on National Public Radio reading his own stories and has been awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in both poetry and fiction. Jim Heynen lives in St. Paul with his wife Sally Williams, a former books editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.