Live @ MTM: Janice Durand in Conversation with Doug Moe

Thursday, June 08th

Time: 6:00p CT

Where: Mystery to Me (seats are limited, Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)


Magic Hour

About the book:

Janice Durand opened the Puzzlebox, a toy store for all ages, at 214 State Street in 1979, at the peak of the American Century, when U.S. factories were exporting products to the world. In the flush of early success, Durand opened stores in Milwaukee and St. Louis in the 1980s, but only the Puzzlebox on State Street would survive the decade, as well as another store Durand opened in 1990, Little Luxuries.

 The Magic Hour unfolds in the era when State Street was filling up with specialty stores selling soap, shoes, bikes, clothes, gifts, pets, records, dishes, books, tobacco, hats, ice cream and toys, run by a new kind of trailblazing entrepreneur.  It tells a story of personal success, failure, and retrenchment. A  national shopping spree explodes on the scene, ignited by globalization and a furious growth of monopolies that would radically change the nature of retail, the economy and the class system.

This new book blends U.S. history with the city of Madison and State Street’s history and the author’s personal life. The reader gets a lively course in economics and business ownership through the main character’s experience.


Janice Durand


About the author:

A native of Chippewa Falls, Janice Durand served in the Peace Corps for two years in the sixties,  moving to Madison with her husband and two children in 1969.  In 1974 she wrote and published Getting the Most out of Madison, a guide to the city. After opening a new gift shop at the Elvehjem Museum of Art, she took a job as coordinator of events on the new State Street Mall. A few years later she opened the Puzzlebox, a toy store for all ages, at 230 State Street. Durand added locations in Milwaukee and St. Louis in the next eight years, and in 1990 opened Little Luxuries, a gift and accessories store, just half a dozen spaces up the street from the Puzzlebox.