New York Mills author releases memoir
Minnesota: North Star Press released Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story by New York City performing songwriter-turned-rural-writer Elisa Korenne on June 6.
Korenne, a songwriter known for her original songs about oddballs in history, left New York City in 2006 to be an artist-in-residence in rural west central Minnesota. When she fell in love with the local outdoorsman, she moved and became a fish out of water in New York Mills. To survive the culture shock, she wrote and composed about herself and other oddballs.
"I felt lonely and disconnected," Korenne says. "So I channeled my loneliness the only way I knew how."
Korenne's culture shock evolved into a memoir that is already gaining attention, telling the story of finding somewhere, and someone, in the middle of nowhere. The book is an unlikely love story about a musician, intra-American culture shock and discovering that sometimes lost is on the way. In her journey to span to rural-urban divide, Korenne describes adventures such as a three-day canoe-camping trip of a blind date, roadkill for dinner, and living through a tornado.
Since becoming a Minnesotan, Korenne has become known as a pioneering rural artist. Gull Lake TEDx chose Korenne to be a featured speaker at their April 2017 conference. Prairie Public Television in Fargo, N.D. commissioned her to create songs and appear in a series of ten mini-music documentaries of unusual people and events in the Upper Midwest. Subjects include controversial politico A.C. Townley, health-insurance saleswoman Sister "Lumberjack" Amata Mackett, and Mail Order Bride Rachel Calof.
Korenne still lives in New York Mills, now with her husband and two young sons, a baby and a two-year-old. Despite her success at cultivating a music career and a life in rural Minnesota, Korenne still feels the culture shock of being a fish out of water.
"Now it usually just makes me smile," she says. "And it serves my husband well. When he wants to be bold and direct—two very un-Minnesotan characteristics—he just sends me in to do it." When asked what she misses most about New York City, Korenne still answers "performing arts and an oversupply of fine, decadent baked goods."
Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story by Elisa Korenne will be available at bookstores across the country, Amazon.com, and NorthStarPress.com