Autumn Leaves is a wide-ranging collection of remembrances culled from the author’s life experiences. Readers learn about a mysterious volume of short stories by French author Guy de Maupassant, an elderly nursing home resident who needs help remembering her past, an overworked boiler in an aging convention hotel in downtown Minneapolis, the fast-moving cancer death of the author’s mother, and more.
The common theme of the 37 stories in Autumn Leaves is one of loss and its accompanying emotions.
“Like the falling leaves that I see drifting slowly down,” Koski writes in the book’s preface. “Like those who preceded me who are remembered in the pages of this book—I also will return to the earth from whence I came. It is an inescapable truth.
“What remains of me—the water, minerals and other elements—will create new life—perhaps a sturdy, long-lived oak, maybe a gentle flower that lives but one season, or possibly a noxious weed that will be pulled and burned. The choice will not be mine—it never is. Nevertheless, new life—whether welcome or not—will spring from my remains. Life goes on—it always does.”
Koski is an award-winning author, journalist and photographer. He previously published the young adult novel Pinos Altos based on his boyhood growing up in rural New Mexico. His photographs have appeared on the covers of more than 50 industry-leading trade magazines. He lives and works in Door County where he writes, teaches, enjoys woodworking, and volunteers at long-term care facilities and with hospice.