Video | Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

OLLI Reads: The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
Marjorie Oliver and Karen Bantel
This project is funded in part by Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Since 2007, the Great Michigan Read, Michigan Humanities’ signature program, has bridged communities across the state with Michigan-based fiction and non-fiction titles that spark conversation and understanding of diverse perspectives.  The 2021-2022 title, selected by six regional selection committees representing all corners of the state, is The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell.  Once again OLLI Reads is proud to have been chosen as a partner in this endeavor.  Since the Great Michigan Read is also designed to bring communities together, OLLI Reads will be working with two fabulous partners: Eastern Michigan University’s Honor College and the Ypsilanti District Library.  
The Women of the Copper Country is a fictionalized history of the 1913 copper miners’ strike in Calumet in the Upper Peninsula.  Following the story of 25 year old strike leader, Anna “Big Annie” Klobuchar Clemenc, Russell draws attention to the women and the immigrants who risked their lives to fight unregulated capitalist exploitation.  
Widely praised for meticulous research, fine prose, and the compelling narrative drive of her stories, Mary Doria Russell is the award-winning author of seven bestselling novels, including the science fiction classics The Sparrow and Children of God; the World War II thriller, A Thread of Grace; and a political romance set in 1921 Cairo called Dreamers of the Day. With her novels Doc and Epitaph, Russell has redefined two towering figures of the American West: the lawman Wyatt Earp and the dental surgeon Doc Holliday.   
Mary Doria Russell was born in the Chicago suburbs to a military family.  She received her her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign; her M.A. in Social Anthropology at Northeastern University, Boston; and her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

In addition, the Ypsilanti District Library will be sponsoring events to enrich our understanding these issues.