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"What about Lorna Landvik?" you asked. Garrison Keillor? Wanda Gag? Susan Power?

"Good point," we answered.

When I wrote about a "Literary Legends" poll by, purporting to determine the favorite author in each state, I suggested a bunch of alternatives to the poll's choice, Sinclair Lewis. Many of you suggested alternate alternatives — so many of you that the responses amounted to an informal, highly unscientific mini-poll on just who our favorite Minnesota authors are.

It started with pushback on Lewis. Quite a few of you think the Sauk Centre native whose century-ago classics include "Babbitt" and "Main Street" might still be our fave. Among readers whose votes put him in fifth place for the title, Sue Zumberge, owner of St. Paul's Subtext Books, was perhaps most eloquent about his work's longevity: "Lewis was prolific, a Nobel Prize winner and even his less well received books such as 'It Can't Happen Here' have been shined up by the dust cloth of time. That to me is the proof."

Another authoritative voice is Tadhg B. Mac an Bhaird, whose Anoka-based Minnesota Authors Book Club exclusively reads local writers. He insisted it would be tough to pick one favorite among the dozens they've discussed, but that "Staggerford" novelist Jon Hassler and "The River We Remember" writer William Kent Krueger "loom large."

The methodology of the stoicquotes poll was confusing — do the writers have to be from the state whose favorite they're supposed to be? Is longtime residence enough to qualify? So readers, wisely, made up their own rules.

Several enthusiastically endorsed science fiction/fantasy writer Lois McMaster Bujold, for instance, based on the fact that she lived here for many years, even if she wasn't from Minnesota. "Romantic Comedy" writer Curtis Sittenfeld and "The English Experience" writer Julie Schumacher both earned mentions under the same criteria, as did "Wheat That Springeth Green" author J.F. Powers, who split his time between Minnesota and Ireland, Norway-to-Minnesota transplant Ole Rølvaag and "Shadow Baby" writer Alison McGhee.

Nobody's quite sure what to do with Laura Ingalls Wilder, who moved more often than a monarch butterfly but who has a whole museum in Walnut Grove to mark her temporary residency near there.

Other names that readers wish had been noted in the original column include St. Paul native and "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" writer Max Shulman, "The Cape Ann" novelist Faith Sullivan, novelist Frederick Manfred, poet Bill Holm, songwriter/autobiographer Bob Dylan (if he's literary enough for the Nobel Prize's literature committee, he's literary enough for us, many readers argued), "A Romantic Education" writer Patricia Hampl, prolific children's book creator Marion Dane Bauer, nonfiction author Scott W. Berg, novelist Peter Geye, "When I Was Young and Old" poet Freya Manfred and mystery writers Allen Eskens, David Housewright, Ellen Hart, R.D. Zimmerman and (pseudonymous) P.J. Tracy. Whatever else has happened to his legacy, several readers also cited "A Prairie Home Companion" essayist/novelist Garrison Keillor as a Minnesota luminary.

Many readers argued that writers with extensive catalogs should receive heavy consideration, but a few said someone whose reputation rests mostly on just one book that sold a gazillion copies should go near the top of the list: "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" author (and Minneapolis native) Robert Pirsig. A fixture on bestseller lists for much of the 1970s, "Zen" remains the bestselling philosophy book ever published in this country.

Pirsig didn't quite crack our readers' leaderboard, though. Consider this Top 10 mostly for fun — again, no methodology whatsoever and some readers voted for more than one favorite — but here's what you told us:

  1. Louise Erdrich ("The Round House")
  2. Jon Hassler ("A Green Journey")
  3. (tie) Kate DiCamillo ("The Puppets of Spelhorst")/Lorna Landvik ("Angry Housewives")
  4. William Kent Krueger ("This Tender Land")
  5. Sinclair Lewis ("Babbitt")
  6. F. Scott Fitzgerald ("The Great Gatsby")
  7. Tim O'Brien ("The Things They Carried")
  8. Frederick Manfred ("Riders of Judgment")
  9. Garrison Keillor ("Lake Wobegon Days")
  10. Bill Holm ("Landscape of Ghosts")