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Wayne State University Press

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Enough to Lose

Stories by RS Deeren

Fiction, Michigan

Made in Michigan Writers Series

Available September 2023
ISBN: 9780814350409
Pages: 160 Size: 5.5x8.5
Available September 2023
ISBN: 9780814350416

In nine captivating short stories, RS Deeren presents a vivid portrait of life in rural Michigan. Small family farms are dwarfed by looming wind turbines and are transformed into corporate enterprises; polarizing local and national politics turn neighbor against neighbor and raze long-standing community allegiances; hard-working families fight for survival in a home that is increasingly unrecognizable and untenable. Exploring the limitations of rugged individualism in the face of relentless economic downturn, these stories feature recurring characters and narratives that span from the Great Flood of 1986 to the 2016 presidential election. With unflinching empathy, Deeren weaves together the colorful lives of landscapers, hunters, artists, parolees, retirees, and entrepreneurs, characters who reckon with their relationship to this unique slice of the rural Midwest. Enough to Lose reveals how a region resistant to change and outside intervention struggles to adapt and leaves locals feeling left behind. Deeren artfully illustrates the brutal realities of working-class rural life that are punctuated by moments of beauty, humor, and resilience.

A native "Thumbody," RS Deeren is an assistant professor of creative writing in the Department of Languages and Literature at Austin Peay State University. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in periodicals including The Great Lakes Review, Joyland and Midwestern Gothic. He has also worked as a line cook, landscaper, lumberjack, and bank teller, just like some of the characters in these stories.