The Blondes of Wisconsin
by Anthony Bukoski
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-299-33118-4 | Paper: 978-0-299-33114-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3552.U399B55 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54

Like stones cast into a river, these sixteen moving, intimate stories illuminate how devotion and degeneration ripple through a working-class Polish American community in the postindustrial Midwest. At the heart of the collection is Eddie “The Bronko” Bronkowski, a boxer with a losing record whose reputation as a human punching bag precedes him. In each of Anthony Bukoski’s rich stories, tough yet sympathetic characters—the second cook on a Great Lakes freighter, a World War II veteran, the emcee of a female boxing troupe—take all that life throws at them, protecting those around them as best they can.
In Bukoski’s interconnected tales, the heart seeks its due despite familial conflict, the challenges of maritime work, and the slow yet inexorable decline of dementia. Beautiful vignettes express transformative moments: tenderness that can turn a cardboard crown into gold and the faint ghosts of memories long forgotten. A tour-de-force, The Blondes of Wisconsin knows what love is—and what it means to lose it.

See other books on: Fiction | Polish Americans | Short Stories (single author) | Wisconsin
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