Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Zug Island Book Talk At Pasquale's in Royal Oak, Michigan - September 30th, 2014

I am pleased to announce that I will be in the Detroit area speaking about Zug Island: A Detroit Riot Novel on September 30th, 2014 at 8:00 PM. The event will be held at Pasquale's Italian Restaurant in the Mediterranean Room located at 31555 Woodward Ave. in Royal Oak, Michigan. The Book Club of Detroit (BCD) and the Detroit Drunken History Society (DDHS) are co-sponsoring the event. An elevator is available for disabled patrons.

In addition to discussing Zug Island and my experiences working there in the summer of 1967, I will give some historical background about the Detroit area in the Sixties and some of the factors that led to the worst urban riot in the history of the United States. The tremors and fallout from that "rebellion," as it was known by many intercity Detroiters, are still being felt by the city today.

Zug Island Where the Rouge and Detroit Rivers Meet

If you would like to join us for dinner before the book talk, the cost is $26 ($23 for DBC members). For attendees not interested in purchasing dinner, there will be a $5 admission fee for non-DBC members to help offset the cost of the banquet room. The dinner starts at 6:30 PM with the book talk starting just after 8:00 PM.

Available entree choices are eggplant parmigiana, chicken cacciatore, or boiled cod. All meals come with your choice of Caesar or Greek salad, mostaccioli with marinara or Alfredo sauce, green beans amandine, and Italian bread or garlic bread sticks. Coffee, tea, pop (soda), and juice are included with the meal, or a cash bar is available for beer, wine, or spirits.

Advance registration for dinner is required. Checks and entree choices should be mailed to:
Book Club of Detroit                                                   
Maurice Barie
860 Spencer
Ferndale, MI 48220

Link to BCD: http://www.bookclubofdetroit.org/ 
Link to DDHS: http://www.meetup.com/Detroit-Drunken-Historical-Society/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              

Gregory Fournier Presents a Compelling Tale of Friendship and Racial Strife in

Zug Island: A Detroit Riot Novel

Santee, CA – The statistics remain legend: 43 reported deaths, 7,000 arrests, over 4,000 injuries, 2,500 buildings looted or burnt to the ground, 5,000 residents left homeless, 16,682 fire runs, and a river of fire ten blocks long. In 1967, the Model City erupted in flames as African Americans took to the streets to protest the city’s atmosphere of racial hatred and prejudice. Gregory Fournier’s debut novel, Zug Island: A Detroit Riot Novel (ISBN 978-1-4116-8691-5), takes place during this chaotic time, when the race riots in Detroit led to one of the most explosive episodes of civil unrest in United States history.

Set in rust-belt Michigan in 1967, Zug Island tells the story of Jake Malone, an eighteen-year-old college student who is kicked out of school and find works as one of the few white employees in the labor crew at Great Lakes Steels' Zug Island blast furnace and coke oven complex. Forced to prove that he can handle the grueling physical work on the island, Jake earns the respect of his African American coworkers and develops a tentative friendship with Theo Semple, a restless steelworker who longs to reunite with his wife and son in Memphis, Tennessee. The two men find camaraderie despite the racial animosity and violence that exists on Detroit’s mean streets. When riots break out across the city of Detroit, Jake must defend his friendship with Theo and reconcile his own mixed feelings about his position in the world. 

An unflinching look at segregated suburbia and the environment of civil strife that led to the race riots of the sixties, Zug Island explores the events leading up to the largest and worst riot in the nation's history, while providing an unconditional look at a young man forced to deal, for the first time, with open prejudice. Told with straightforward candor and an authentic voice, Zug Island is a coming-of-age story that explores the bonds of loyalty and friendship in the face of entrenched racial tension and civil unrest.

“After almost fifty years, the shadow of the riots still hangs over the Detroit area like a dark cloud, though many of the area’s youth know little or nothing about them,” said Fournier. “The lessons learned and the memory of the forty-three victims is fading from the collective consciousness. This is what prompted me to write Zug Island.”

Gregory A. Fournier received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Eastern Michigan University in English Language Arts and Sociology. He has taught secondary school for over thirty years in Michigan and San Diego, and he was an adjunct professor at Cuyamaca College in San Diego County for ten years. In addition to Zug Island, he has written a stage adaptation of Crime and Punishment. He is currently finishing up his next project, a true crime work about Ypsilanti serial killer John Norman Collins entitled The Rainy Day Murders.

       For more information on Gregory A. Fournier or Zug Island: A Detroit Riot Novel, please visit: zugislandthenovel.com or http://amazon.com/Gregory-A.-Fournier/e/B00BDNEG1C