Dirty Copper

Jim Northrup. Fulcrum Publishing (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-55591-864-4
Luke Warmwater, the Vietnam vet featured in Northrup’s short story collection, Walking the Rez Road, returns to civilian life in 1967 after having served his country. Warmwater has just been hired by the Carlton County, Minn., sheriff’s department as its first Native American deputy. As Warmwater, who suffers from periodic flashbacks of warfare, tries to discharge his duties, he must also maneuver his way between his racist colleagues and the petty criminals and scofflaws from the Rez who are more often than not his friends or relatives. Warmwater’s dreams of the future are shattered, not once but twice, when death unexpectedly strikes loved ones at home just as it did in Vietnam. Leaving the north woods for the big city, a short stint with the Waukegan, Ill., police department only convinces Warmwater that, even there, he can never fully escape from his personal demons; he must learn to dwell with them. Northrup, himself a military vet who fought in Vietnam and later worked as a sheriff’s deputy in northern Minnesota, neither sugarcoats the racism directed at Native Americans nor wallows in self-pity in a profound story set against the backdrop of a close-knit Indian community proudly trying to maintain its age-old culture and traditions, despite the obstacles of abject poverty and rampant alcoholism. Often humorous, sometimes unsettling, Warmwater’s return is well worth the wait. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-938486-39-5
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-936218-68-4
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