Midwest Book Review on Raymond Luczak’s Compassion Michigan

The Literary Fiction Shelf

Raymond Luczak
Modern History Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-9627
9781615995288, $33.95, HC, 200pp
Synopsis: Doesn’t history matter anymore? Could we still have compassion for others who don’t share our views? Encompassing some 130 years in Ironwood’s history, “Compassion, Michigan: The Ironwood Stories” by Raymond Luczak (who is a Yooper native, and either the author or the editor of 24 books — including Flannelwood) illuminates characters struggling to adapt to their circumstances starting in the present day, with its subsequent stories rolling back in time to when Ironwood was first founded.
As an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling skill set that keeps the readers total and rapt attention to what they are reading, author Raymond Lucazk has created an impressive body of work with “Compassion, Michigan: The Ironwood Stories”
These are deftly crafted and engaging stories about what does it mean to live in a small town (so laden with its glory day reminiscences) against the stark economic realities of today:
  • A Deaf woman, born into a large, hearing family, looks back on her turbulent relationship with her younger, hearing sister.
  • A gas station clerk reflects on Stella Draper, the woman who ran an ice cream parlor only to kill herself on her 33rd birthday.
  • A devout mother has a crisis of faith when her son admits that their priest molested him.
  • A bank teller, married to a soldier convicted of treason during the Korean War, gradually falls for a cafeteria worker.
  • A young transgender man, with a knack for tailoring menswear, escapes his wealthy Detroit background for a chance to live truly as himself in Ironwood.
  • When a handsome single man is attracted to her, a popular schoolteacher enters into a marriage of convenience only to wonder if she’s made the right decision.

Raymond Luczak, author of Compassion, Michigan

Critique: The twin roles of the literary short story are to entertain and to provoke thought. As an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling skill set that keeps the readers total and rapt attention to what they are reading, author Raymond Lucazk has created an impressive body of work with “Compassion, Michigan: The Ironwood Stories”. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library Contemporary American Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Compassion, Michigan: The Ironwood Stories” is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781615995271, $21.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.95).

Editorial Note: Raymond Luczak is a Yooper native, is the author and editor of 24 books, including Flannelwood.

U.P. Colony

SKU 978-1-61599-606-3
$11.95
The Story of Resource Exploitation in Upper Michigan -- Focus on Sault Sainte Marie Industries
In stock
1
Product Details

In the 1980s, Phil Bellfy pondered the question: Why does Sault,Ontario, appear to be so prosperous, while the "Sault" on the American side has fallen into such a deplorable state? Could the answer be that the "American side" was little more than a "resource colony"-or to use the academic jargon of "Conflict and Change" Sociology-an "Internal Colony." In UP Colony, Bellfy revisits his graduate research to update us the state of the Sault.

The ultimate question: why has the U.P.'s vast wealth, nearly unrivaled in the whole of the United States, left the area with poverty nearly unrivaled in the whole of the United States? None of the conventional explanations from "distance to markets," to "too many people," to "disadvantageous production costs," have any credibility. Simply put: "Where did the $1.5 billion earned from copper mining, $1 billion from logging, and nearly $4 billion in iron ore go?"

To get to the bottom of these thorny questions, Bellfy looks at the possible economic pressures imposed by "external colonial powers." The pressure-points examined in this book include presence of a complimentary economy, lopsided investment in one sector, monopoly style management, disparity of living standards, a repressive conflict-resolution system, and the progressive growth of inequality over time.

In UP Colony, Dr. Bellfy has revisited his MA Thesis and brought this analysis up-to-date in conjunction with the Sault's Semisepticentennial-the 350th anniversary of its French founding in 1668.

From Ziibi press www.ZiibiPress.com

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