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J. Ryan Stradal
J. Ryan Stradal
New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, and Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club
Fiction
Food
Midwest
Where else you can find me
Personal website
Substack
Book a 1:1 with J. Ryan
Hi!

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Talk soon,
Sam

Hi, thank you so much for your support! I look forward to speaking with you!

On my mind

I'm interested in talking to anyone who might be interested in publishing their own fiction. I don't have an MFA, and I took an unconventional path to becoming a novelist, and I'm happy to talk about what I learned along the way and advise aspiring writers the best I can. I'm also happy to talk about any of the topics I cover in my books and answer questions related to them -- if your book club has chosen one of my novels and you have some burning questions, I'm here at your disposal!

Why I'm excited to talk with readers

I'm a guy from a small town in Minnesota, attended public schools, and was in my twenties before I even met anyone who published a novel, and didn't really get going in my writing career until my late thirties. If I can make it in this business, I bet you can. I'm looking forward to speaking with you about books (mine, or anyone's) and writing.

Thanks again,

J. Ryan

Let's talk! Open to...👇
Freewheeling conversations
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My latest
My Substack
 by 
J. Ryan Stradal
Where I've written

Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club

A Novel

From the New York Times bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal, a story of a couple from two very different restaurant families in rustic Minnesota, and the legacy of love and tragedy, of hardship and hope, that unites and divides them.

Mariel Prager needs a break. Her husband Ned is having an identity crisis, her spunky, beloved restaurant is bleeding money by the day, and her mother Florence is stubbornly refusing to leave the church where she’s been holed up for more than a week. The Lakeside Supper Club has been in her family for decades, and while Mariel’s grandmother embraced the business, seeing it as a saving grace, Florence never took to it. When Mariel inherited the restaurant, skipping Florence, it created a rift between mother and daughter that never quite healed.

In this colorful, vanishing world of relish trays and brandy Old Fashioneds, J. Ryan Stradal has once again given us a story full of his signature honest, lovable yet fallible Midwestern characters as they grapple with love, loss, and marriage; what we hold onto and what we leave behind; and what our legacy will be when we are gone.


“This is a perfect book.”

Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Not That Bad

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The Lager Queen of Minnesota

A Novel

Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can't help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself.

With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country. Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen's is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home. . . if it's not too late.

Meanwhile, Edith's granddaughter, Diana, earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up--will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family?

In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we're surprised, moved, and delighted.

“Wonderful. . . Stradal’s gift for getting the reader to invest in these lives is particularly profound.”

— The Chicago Tribune

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Kitchens of the Great Midwest

A Novel

Who is Eva Thorvald? To her chef father, Lars, Eva's a miniature recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chili chow-down contestants of Chicago, she's a pint-sized hustler. One day, Eva will surprise everyone . . . Abandoned by her mother, Eva finds solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota, and a passion bordering on obsession.

J. Ryan Stradal delves into the American heartland, sweeping the vast landscapes of Lutheran church bake-offs, chili-pepper eating contests, and the opening of deer season to capture the zeitgeist of the Midwest and the rise of foodie culture.  Kitchens of the Great Midwest is about the family you lose, the friends you make and the chance connections that can define a life.

"An impressive feat of narrative jujitsu. . . that keeps readers turning the pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they are."

— The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Pick

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