Focusing on Kansas (& the American Dream) in "Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard & Being Broke...."

Sep 11, 2019

Our guest is the journalist Sarah Smarsh, whose book, "Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth," is now out in paperback. It's a far-reaching account of her coming of age in smalltown Kansas that sharply explores matters of poverty, class, family, income inequality, Midwestern values, personal ambition, faith, womanhood, and other key social and economic concerns. A bestselling and widely acclaimed American autobiography that feels especially timely, the book was thus priased in The New York Times Book Review: "A deeply humane memoir that crackles with clarifying insight, 'Heartland' is one of a growing number of important works -- including Matthew Desmond's 'Evicted' and Amy Goldstein's 'Janesville' -- that together merit their own section in nonfiction aisles across the country: America's postindustrial decline.... With deft primers on the Homestead Act, the farming crisis of the '80s, and Reaganomics, Smarsh shows how the false promise of the 'American dream' was used to subjugate the poor. It's a powerful mantra." Also, please note that Smarsh will appear at a free-to-the-public Magic City Books event tonight, Tuesday the 10th, that will take place at the nearby Duet Jazz Club.