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Sample Autograph Signature: Jon Hassler

American novelist and educator. Hassler is best known for his fictional works about small-town life in Minnesota. He spent his formative years in the Minnesota small towns of Staples and Plainview, where he graduated from high school. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from St. John's University in 1955, then taught English at three different Minnesota high schools while earning his Master of Arts degree in English from the University of North Dakota in 1960. He continued to teach at the high school level until 1965, when he joined the faculty of Bemidji State University. He then moved to Brainerd Community College (now called Central Lakes College) where he began seriously to write fiction. Currently, he is a Regent's Professor at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota and has been their Writer-in-Residence since 1980. Hassler has written eleven novels, two collections of short stories, three children's books, and three non-fiction books. Staggerford, his first novel published in 1977, was chosen Novel of the Year in 1978 by the Friends of American Writers; and his novel Grand Opening was chosen Best Fiction of 1987 by the Society of Midland Authors. A screen version of A Green Journey, his novel published in 1985, was produced in 1988 and shown on NBC starring Angela Lansbury and Denholm Elliott. Hassler has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He was granted honorary Doctor of Letters degrees by Assumption College (Massachusetts)in 1993, the University of North Dakota in 1994, and the University of Notre Dame in 1996.

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