Enough to Lose (Made in Michigan Writers)
Stories of the small-town struggle to reconcile tradition with inevitable change.
Winner, 2024 Michigan Notable Book 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.