Sharon Dilworth


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Winter mines -- Mad dog queen -- Miles from Coconut Grove -- The seeney stretch -- Lunch at Archibald's -- The lady on the plane -- Independence Day -- Lip service resume -- The long white.


In the sparsely settled hills of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, winter's toughness is matched only by the animosity and affection of its inhabitants for each other and for the land that unnerves them. In The Long White, Michigan writer Sharon Dilworth evokes a place dominated by two great lakes whose power and ferocity influence the lives of every inhabitant. The particularities of place and character come together with the clarity and exactitude of a fresh snowfall that both veils and illuminates a landscape.

Memorable in this collection is Dilworth 's uncommon portrayal of the long-standing prejudice between the Finnish and Indian settlers in the Upper Peninsula as well as the unsettling rhythm of small-town life for members of each group. Dilworth also extends her storytelling to a southern island where a transplanted northerner intends to spend the rest of his life and to places common everywhere in America: an out-of-the way restaurant where a woman runs into her exhusband's new wife, a plane trip where a businessman talks to an Irish immigrant holding a box of photos of her deceased father, and a 4th of July picnic where a woman confronts her fear and her loneliness.

Read singly these stories give the reader a snowflake's precise and individual pleasure; read together they fall upon our consciousness like a long-awaited and welcome gift.

Series Title

Iowa Short Fiction Award

Award Date



Stone, Robert

Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages


ISBN of Print Version



Upper Peninsula, Michigan, small town life


Copyright © 1988 by Sharon Dilworth. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, without permission in writing from the publisher.

The Long White