Industrial Worker Book Reveiw: 8 Hours to Work, 8 Hours to Sleep, 8 Hours to Read

Writer Spotlight: Patrick Michael Finn

Starting this month the Industrial Worker Book Review will be spotlighting individual writer's work. As education in this country becomes increasingly commodified and access to literary works that are powerful enough to change lives and generate dialogue becomes more difficult, we feel that by pointing out the great writers working today we will begin to create the necessary dialogue. And we just might be able to take a bit of our education back. Too many great writers in this country labor under obscurity. If we do nothing else here we hope to draw these writers out into a greater light. We hope their books get read, kept in glove compartments and back pockets and backpacks and passed from hand to hand, worker to worker, family to family. We hope their books end up in school lockers and at the debate table. We hope that we can show people there are writers out there who aren't silent and whose fiction or poetry speaks the greatest truths. We begin the series with Patrick Michael Finn.

A Martyr for Suzy Kosasovich Patrick Michael Finn

A Martyr for Suzy Kosasovich

Review by William Hastings, editor, Industrial Worker Book Review

Once again I was pretty close to dead broke. I was working as a lift operator at a ski resort in Colorado, bumping 400 pound steel chairs all day long in the wind and snow and freeze. This was the period of my life where I thought I was going to make it as a writer faster than any human being had ever done it before. This was a decade ago.

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Interview with Patrick Michael Finn for The Industrial Worker Book Review

Interview by Interview conducted with Eric Miles Williamson

The Industrial Worker Book Review has recently interviewed Patrick Michael Finn, author of the novella, A martyr for Suzy Kosasovich (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2008), and the short story collection, From the Darkness Right Under Our Feet (Black Lawrence Press, 2011). A native of the industrial town, Joliet,…

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Industrial Strength

Eric Miles WilliamsonPatrick Michael Finn: Our Man from Joliet

By Eric Miles Williamson

A great dilemma when writing literary fiction is whether to tell stories that portray reality as it is or reality as we want it to be. Genre fiction shows us reality as we want it to be: the sheriff saves the town from the outlaws, the detective solves the mystery, the romantic couple overcomes social obstacles and gets married at the end, the forces of good beat the forces of evil and the cosmos are restored to order, the boy wizard defeats the evil wizard and Hogwarts is rebuilt.

When writing about the middle class, American authors historically have given us works which are not much better than genre novels. The same happy endings prevail, though muted. And even if the endings are unhappy, the consequences of the unhappiness are, well, not much more than temporary unhappiness. I'm thinking Henry James and his coterie of rich people who've never worked a day in their life getting upset because they don't get to marry whomever they want, or Updike's suburban sadnesses, or Philip…

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