Modern Life on the Iron Range
By Aaron Brown



New book explores the heart and soul of Minnesota's iconic Iron Range

DULUTH, Minn. -- A new book by accomplished Iron Range newspaper columnist and radio commentator Aaron Brown seeks to breathe life into the region's storied history for another generation. "Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range" will be released by the insurgent Duluth publishing house Red Step Press on Oct. 14. The book combines humor, history, personal stories, Range characters and original observations about Minnesota's most unusual region.

"I'm the fifth generation of my family to live and work on the Iron Range and I'm helping raise the sixth," said Brown. "I'm also the first in my paternal line to never work in a mine, all while making a living off of the Internet. That's where the idea for this book came from. I have come to love the stories and traditions of our past, but the present and future will require a new generation to step up."

Brown, 28, is a columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune, where he served as the state's youngest daily newspaper editor from 2001 until 2003. In addition to the column, Brown now teaches communication courses at Hibbing Community College. For the last three years he's been an essayist and contributing producer for the KAXE radio program "Between You and Me." He's also the founder and editor of the Iron Range's most popular news and politics blog, MinnesotaBrown.com.

"Actually, I think it might be the only Iron Range political blog, which is part of the problem," said Brown.

"Overburden" features original essays on topics such as Range culture, work ethic, politics and history, all from Brown's uniquely humorous but sincere perspective made popular in each Sunday's Hibbing Daily Tribune. Additionally, Brown weaves his story of growing up in a trailer house on his family's junkyard with the history and sentiment of the Iron Range. The book also features some of Brown's best work from the Tribune and his weekly essays on KAXE, Northern Community Radio.

Barton Sutter, former poet laureate of Duluth, MPR contributor and author of the award winning regional bestseller "Cold Comfort" offers this take on "Overburden."

"The Iron Range has found its voice in Aaron Brown. The kid with Coke-bottle glasses who was raised in a trailer next to his parents' junkyard has grown up to write a ferocious, loving anthem to his home region. Historical, political, deeply personal, "Overburden" is rich with details but sizzles with narrative drive. Oddly enough -- or maybe not -- Brown, as author, has all the qualities we look for in a great hockey player: guts and heart, vision, skills, and speed. Rangers will see themselves in this book. Outsiders will be stung by envy."

"Overburden" is being published by Red Step Press, a new publishing company out of Duluth, Minnesota.  The book will be available through www.redsteppress.com as well as at bookstores throughout the area and major online booksellers. For a biography on Aaron J. Brown, see www.aaronjamesbrown.com.

Aaron Brown, author

Lindsy O'Brien, publisher

Written inquires to: Red Step Press, P.O. Box 7103, Duluth, MN 55807

Upcoming events:

My new book, "Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range," is beginning to appear on shelves and online. I'll be making media appearances and doing live events all over the region.

Opening Party and Book Signing!
Thursday, Oct. 16
5-7 p.m.
Howard Street Booksellers
Hibbing, Minn.

Book Signing
Saturday, Oct. 18
Village Bookstore
12-2 p.m.
Village Mall
Grand Rapids, Minn.

Book event
Wednesday, Nov. 12
6:30 p.m.
Barnes and Noble, Miller Hill Mall
Duluth, Minn.

Grand Rapids Library Lecture Series
Tuesday, Dec. 2
7 p.m.
Grand Rapids Public Library on the Mississippi River

Other events are being scheduled on the Range, in Duluth and in the Twin Cities, so check back for updates. I do lectures and speeches about the Iron Range, politics, blogging, and other media topics. Contact me if you'd like to book me for your event.

Press / Reviews

A 'rally call' for a prosperous Range future
(By Jeff Warner, Hibbing Daily Tribune, Oct. 12, 2008)

Archive: RealGoodWords interview with Heidi Holtan
(Orginal air date: Oct. 8, 2008, 91.7 KAXE)