coming home crazy 2

The perfect metaphor for Minnesota . . . exceptionally well – written.”

BILL HOLM, author of Coming Home Crazy, The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth, Eccentric Islands, and The Windows of Brimness

“Nick Hayes has written a moving tribute to his father – an artist, architect and dreamer who died too young but left behind a first-class legacy of buildings . . . a wonderful memoir of growing up in Minneapolis in the 1950s, an age of faith and certainties when life somehow seemed fresher than it is now but no easier. Anyone who attended Catholic schools in those days will be especially drawn to Hayes’s account of his education at the hands of the good nuns and brothers who took very seriously (and at times quite literally) the task of knocking sense into their young charges.”

LARRY MILLETT, author of AIA Guide to the Twin Cities, The Lost Twin Cities, Twin Cities Then and Now, and Strange Days, Dangerous Nights

“Nick Hayes delivers a brilliant, touching and engrossing epic, which rings the bell of recognition as it moves gracefully through a rich and varied terrain. His captivating work captures, with respectful verve, not only the travail, but the magic, humor, and joy, that endures in lives well-lived.”

CAROL CONNOLLY, poet-laureate of St. Paul and author of All This and More: New and Selected Poems and Payments Due

41SsQ4TqzEL“Poetic, wide, at turns comical and heartbreaking, Nick Hayes plumbs the depths of what it meant to be Irish-American in the early 20th Century. This is a gentle and beautiful tribute to Hayes’s father but, along the way, it also reminds us of the ancestral voices that echo in all our ears. Part memoir, part microcosm of American history, and wholly engrossing, we are tugged into the rich life and early death of Minnesota architect, Mark Hayes . . . In these pages Catholic Minneapolis hums with life . . . A triumphant reminder that words can raise the dead.”

PATRICK HICKS, author of Finding the Gossamer and writer-in-residence at Augustana College

“Equipped with the good humor of a storyteller, the detachment of an historian, and the gratitude of a son, Nick Hayes turns the story of his family—which, like any family, took part in its idiosyncratic ways in all the great events of its century—into something luminous. Anchored in the milieu of midcentury Irish Catholicism, there is something deeply religious in this memoir: a sense that for all our failings, in some cracked-mirror manner, every family and every community reflects the communion of saints.”

JAMES SILAS ROGERS is editor of New Hibernia Review and president of the American Conference for Irish Studies


“Nick Hayes’s beautifully written memoir draws us deeply into the larger-than-life myth of his father. The closely-observed details of a lost era are deftly combined with the novelistic pleasure of having the known world revealed as even more complex and alluring than previously imagined.”

MARK CONWAY, author of Any Holy City and director of the Literary Arts Institute of the College of St. Benedict

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