Eric Bergman said he better not have coffee before his homecoming book talk where he’ll discuss the local history that inspired much of his debut novel set in his hometown of Carlton.
The middle school social studies teacher from a suburb north of Minneapolis loves talking history just as much as he loves the fictional world he created that’s infused with memories of his childhood. Discussing the two gives him enough of an energetic buzz without the help of caffeine.
The book event will start at 11 a.m Saturday, Aug. 30, at the Carlton County Historical Society in Cloquet, and attendants can expect to hear Bergman talk about the bits of history that made its way into “Addie Braver,” which follows a 15-year-old girl in the summer of 1977 as she attempts to free herself and her younger brother from their alcoholic stepfather.
“One of the reasons I set it in that time period is I have very fond memories of growing up in Carlton, and that summer for some reason sticks out in my mind clearly,” Bergman said.
The summer of 1977 sticks out in Bergman’s memory because it was the summer his favorite Minnesota Twins baseball player, Rod Carew rose to the ranks as one of baseball’s best hitters, falling just short of a .400 batting average that season.
Conveniently for Bergman’s historical contextualization process, that was also the summer of the Congdon murders in Duluth, the first Star Wars movie and peaked tensions during the fight over the Boundary Waters.