A Motor City Year

A Motor City Year
Cover [click to view]

In A Motor City Year, award-winning photographer John Sobczak captures everyday life in Metro Detroit in 365 images. His photographs showcase the familiar—the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, vendors at Eastern Market, the Woodward Dream Cruise—the less familiar—cycling at the velodrome in Rochester Hills, robots on the line at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant—and the quirky—the birthday of one of Detroit’s oldest women, a tattoo artist at work. Taken together, the photographs in A Motor City Year demonstrate the full texture of life in Detroit, from the traditions we hold dear, to the places we work and play, the people we visit, and the challenges we face.

This volume is divided into four sections according to the seasons, beginning with spring. In this first section, Sobczak follows people and places across the Detroit area coming back to life after a long winter, including rowers on the Detroit River, dancers at a high school prom, neighborhood basketball players in Detroit, and visitors to Domino’s Petting Farm.

Published by Wayne State Press, October 2009
9x13, 312 pages, 365 Illustrations

Hard cover only, $39.95

Books available at Barnes and Noble, Borders or by contacting us here at LorienBooks.

Summer images include major festivals—like GM River Days, Comerica CityFest, the Ann Arbor Art Fair, the Detroit International Jazz Festival, and Arts, Beats & Eats—as well as more obscure events like the Michigan Elvisfest and Hines Park’s Mud Day. Photographs in the fall and winter sections show communities and individuals living, working, and celebrating in the colder months, with traditions like the annual Michigan–Michigan State football game, the Hob Nobble Gobble, and ice skating at Campus Martius Park. Over the course of the year, Sobczak takes readers into schools, stadiums, homes, and churches across Metro Detroit, as well as distinctive Detroit-area locations like the Russell Industrial Center, Planet Rock Climbing Gym, Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Henry the Hatter, and the abandoned Michigan Central Depot.

Sobczak’s photographs are united by their intimate perspective and satisfying variety. While not all of the images are pretty, they represent the diversity and excitement of life in the Motor City, a place too often painted with a broad negative brush. Detroit-area residents and anyone with ties to the region will appreciate this timely collection of photography.

“From working to relaxing, competing to collaborating, celebrating to grieving, Detroit’s people are what make our city special. The beautiful photographs in A Motor City Year memorialize some of my favorite events and capture the spirit of my hometown, Detroit.” —United States Senator Carl Levin

“John Sobczak’s images invoke thoughts, memories, nostalgia, and a sense of pride, reminding us just how visually and culturally stimulating and diverse Metro Detroit is. I’ve seen many of these sights in person, and John has captured their very essence.” —Dave Coulier

“Say ‘Detroit’ or ‘the Motor City,’ and what comes to mind? Too often, just one or two tired images. Welcome to the perfect cure. John Sobczak's splendidly rich A Motor City Year shows Metro Detroit in all its many-hued and many-seasoned splendor. Even if you are a lifelong Detroiter, you are likely to see places you never knew existed and others that you have always longed to see. If you are in Detroit, of Detroit, from Detroit, or just curious about the city, this is a coffee-table must.” —Jack Lessenberry, Metro Times columnist, senior political analyst on Michigan Radio, and lecturer in communication at Wayne State University

“In A Motor City Year, John Sobczak expertly depicts the heart and soul of our region. He vividly captures the unique personality of a unique city—its memories, traditions, and struggles.” —Ernie Harwell, Hall of Fame baseball announcer and author of Tuned to Baseball and other books