Description - Heartland: a memoir of working hard and being broke in the richest country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh
Born a fifth-generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teenage mothers on her maternal side, Smarsh grew up in a family of labourers trapped in a cycle of poverty. She learned about hard work, and also absorbed painful lessons about economic inequality, eventually coming to understand the powerful forces that have blighted the lives of poor and working-class Americans living in the heartland.
By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at daily life in America. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland is a searing, uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.
'A deeply humane memoir with crackles of clarifying insight, Heartland is one of a growing
number of important works ... that together merit their own section in non-fiction aisles across the country- America's post-industrial decline. Or, perhaps, simply- class ... Smarsh
shows how the false promise of the "American dream" was used to subjugate the poor.'
-Francesca Mari, The New York Times Book Review
'"Class is an illusion with real consequences", Smarsh writes in this candid and courageous
memoir of growing up in a family of working-class farmers in Kansas during the 1980s and
'90s ... Smarsh's raw and intimate narrative exposes a country of economic inequality that
"has failed its children".' STARRED REVIEW
'The difficulty of transcending poverty is the message behind this personal history of
growing up in the dusty farmlands of Kansas, where "nothing was more painful ... than true
things being denied" ... The takeaway? The working poor don't need our pity; they need to
be heard above the din of cliche and without so-called expert interpretation. Smarsh's
family are expert enough to correct any misunderstandings about their lives.'
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Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Scribe Publications
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Book Reviews - Heartland: a memoir of working hard and being broke in the richest country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh
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