You're in the Wrong Place (Made in Michigan Writers) (Paperback)
A lyrical deconstruction of postindustrial American life.
In a thrilling interconnected narrative, You're in the Wrong Place presents characters reaching for transcendence from a place they cannot escape. Charles Baxter stated that "Joseph Harris has a particular feeling for the Detroit suburbs and the slightly stunted lives of the young people there. . . . You're in the Wrong Place isn't uniformly downbeat--there are all sorts of rays of hope that gleam toward the end."
The book, composed of twelve stories, begins in the fall of 2008 with the shuttering of Dynamic Fabricating--a fictional industrial shop located in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale. Over the next seven years, the shop's former employees--as well as their friends and families--struggle to find money, purpose, and levity in a landscape suddenly devoid of work, faith, and love. In "Would You Rather," a young couple brought together by Dynamic Fabricating shares a blissful weekend in Northern Michigan, unaware of the catastrophe that awaits them upon their return home. In "Acolytes," a devout Catholic clings to her faith as her brothers descend into cultish soccer violence. In "Memorial," an ex-Dynamic worker scrapes money together for a tribute to his best friend, lost to the war in Afghanistan. In "Was It Good for You?" a cam girl deconstructs materialism with her aging great aunt, a luxury sales associate, and an anxious, faceless client. And in the title story, simmering tensions come to a boil on a hot summer day for a hardscrabble landscaping crew, hired by the local bank to maintain the lawns of foreclosures.
In turns elegiac and harrowing, You're in the Wrong Place blends lyric intensity with philosophical eroticism to create a singular, powerful vision of contemporary American life. Readers of contemporary fiction grounded in place need to take up this collection.
About the Author
Stories by Joseph Harris have appeared in Midwest Review, Moon City Review, Great Lakes Review, The MacGuffin, Third Wednesday, Storm Cellar, and have received the Gesell, Tompkins, and Detroit Working Writers' Awards for fiction. He holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota, an MA from Wayne State University, and a BFA from Emerson College.