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Joe Pete


Product Description

McClinchey’s Joe Pete, was first published in 1929. Both of McClinchey’s novels, Joe Pete and Big John, revolve around American Indians living on Sugar Island, which is located at the far eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, on the border with Canada. Florence McClinchey has had the opportunity to observe the Ojibway Indians at first hand, and for many summers has lived on Sugar Island, the setting of Joe Pete, the powerful tale of the degeneration of Mabel, an Indian woman, the mother of Joe Pete. It is Joe Pete, for whom the story is named and who, through many obstacles, emerges victorious; but it is Mabel who stands forth as the symbol of a dying race-a submerged people at the mercy of their conquerors.

About the author

Florence E. McClinchey was born in Sault St. Marie, Michigan in 1888. After graduating from high school, she went to normal school at Ypsilanti. She taught in the Sault until her parents died, after which she attended the University of Michigan, where she earned a Master of Arts degree. From the university, she went to Mount Pleasant, where she taught in the English Department of the Central State Teachers College during the summer, and, as late into the year as is possible, lived on Sugar Island, the setting for both of her novels, Joe Pete, and Big John. Born in upper Michigan, she was able from the first to observe the Ojibway across the conventional distance that separates them from white society; and, later, she lived for many summers on Sugar Island, the locale of her story. As she says of the Indians, “one never knows the Indians familiarly for they are too reserved. But they have come to know me and have told me much of their old tales and legends. These were what I really was after until I realized that their lives were better stories than any they were telling me.” The result of her labor is Joe Pete, a first novel of undisputed excellence. Florence McClinchey has unearthed a world that has never before been exposed to public gaze, a world distant yet near, filled with poignancy, rooted in the very bed of America, and she has drawn it with a freshness and a richness that augurs well for the newer American literature. Adapted by the Editor from the December 1929 Book League Monthly “Christmas Edition” of Joe Pete. Big John is McClinchey’s long-lost, and much anticipated sequel, also published in 2018 by Ziibi Press. Florence McClinchey, was critically injured in an automobile accident on May 26, 1946, in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. At the time, she was Associate Professor of English at Central Michigan College (now Central Michigan University). She died of her injuries on June 13.

Other Details

Florence Elizabeth McClinchey
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