Here at Metro Times, people love sending us books. We have stacks of them, spilling over our slush pile shelf and onto the floor. And there are always more, filling up our mailboxes, stacked on top, demanding our attention.
So imagine our surprise when a local author wanted editorial coverage of his book — but didn’t send a copy!
That author is Dean Dimitrieski, and, in all honesty, once the pitch got our attention, he promised to send us a copy. (More books! Hooray!) But before we’ll receive that, he has a book launch and signing coming up tomorrow, so we thought we’d trace the tale for you and let you decide.
Dimitrieski’s book is Tears for My City, “the true story of an immigrant white kid from Macedonia who moves to the most dangerous neighborhood in Detroit at the height of gang violence in the 1970s.”
According to the author, that blurb is no exaggeration. Dimitrieski tells us, “The neighborhood was the 48211 ZIP code — one of the most dangerous in the country in the ’70s and ’80s. I lived at 5315 McDougall between Frederick and Kirby on the south east side of Detroit. I lived in that neighborhood until I was about 19.”
Dimitrieski, who now lives in Shelby Township and works as an advertising sales manager, has been motivated for more than 20 years to write his story but says, “It was far too dangerous to do so early on because a few key characters were still on the loose. Today, all are behind bars or dead — and I feel better about the timing now.
“I changed all the names to be sure that I won’t have any problems. In fact, that is where I didn’t see eye-to-eye with [my original publisher]. They wanted me to leave the real names because they are highly recognizable
and the agent wasn’t bending. So I published elsewhere, and the book is being distributed by Ingram.”
The names may have been changed, but it’s clear that the young Dean became friends with members of “Young Boys Incorporated,” although he resisted their pressure to join. Just when he feels he’s found his place in his new city, a brutal murder is poised to turn his world upside down.
Dimitrieski says, “The reaction has been amazing so far, and, even for the book signing, I am expecting well over 100 people to show up — maybe many more.
Curious? Want to see the book and learn what happens? Signed copies will be available from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at Baldwin Public Library, 300 W. Merrill St., Birmingham; 248-647-1700; baldwinlib.org.