Population by Michael Perry
485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time

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Here the local vigilante is a farmer's wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry loves this place. He grew up here, and now -- after a decade away -- he has returned.

Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy.


About Michael Perry

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Michael Perry is an amateur pig farmer, an active member of the local rescue service, and a contributing editor to Men's Health. He lives in rural Wisconsin with his wife and two daughters, and can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 234 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Action & Adventure, History, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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In their world, death is not pleasant, the body is a messy organism (“puke is the great constant”), and fire is treacherous, “a tantalizing enemy [with] an undeniable pull.” Recalling various blazes, accidents, and heart attacks, the author depicts coworkers like the Beagle, a butcher whose two e...

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Publishers Weekly

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When writer Perry returned to his tiny childhood town, New Auburn, Wisc., after 12 years away, he joined the village's volunteer fire and rescue department.

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Star Tribune

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Michael Perry's new essay collection, "Population: 485 -- Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time," is compelling because Perry seldom has such anonymous remove from the victim.

Nov 09 2002 | Read Full Review of Population: 485: Meeting Your...

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