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In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie Clements has seen enough of the world to know that it’s unfair. She’s spent her whole life in the mining town of Calumet, Michigan, where men risk their lives for meager salaries—and have barely enough to put food on the table for their families. The women labor in the houses of the elite, and send their husbands and sons deep underground each day, dreading the fateful call of the company man telling them their loved ones aren’t coming home. So, when Annie decides to stand up for the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle.
The Committee for the Slovenian Literary Award by the Slovenian Union of America is pleased to announce our 2021 winner, Under Ground, by Megan Marsnik.
Inspired by true events, Under Ground is the story of an indomitable young Slovenian woman who emigrates to a rough and tumble mining community on the Iron Range of Minnesota, where the poor immigrant workers have been brutally exploited by U.S. Steel and are on the brink of revolution. Working for her aunt’s secret newspaper, Katka chronicles shootouts at labor rallies, guns transported to and from secret bunkers, fights in brothels, police corruption, xenophobia, and false imprisonment. When the miners strike, Katka leads a heroic group of women who take over the strike, risking assault and murder to oppose corrupt lawmen and strikebreaking thugs.
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