Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges... show more
During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact intergenerational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities, and she explores this idea as lived experience, metaphor, and level of consciousness.
Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experiences growing up as the daughter of a dissatisfied young mother and raised predominantly by her grandmother on a farm thirty miles west of Wichita, we are given a unique and essential look into the lives of poor and working class Americans living in the heartland. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.
Publish date: 2018-09-01
Pages no: 290
Edition language: English
Title: Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth Author: Sarah Smarsh Publish Date: September 18, 2018 Publisher: Scribner Format: Kindle Page Count: 288 pages Source: Library Date Read: May 13-14, 2020 Review I think this book was much better representati...
This book is poverty memoir, family saga and nonfiction piece rolled into one. The family memoir is interesting and enjoyable. The nonfiction aspect, though, is hamstrung by the author’s refusal to cite her sources. And the whole book is jumbled together, jumping from one topic to the next without t...
I could identify with Sarah's emotions as she talks about growing up even though I grew up in the city while she was in farm country and there is over 30 years between us. She had a hard life but survived and succeeded by choosing not to follow her family's cycle. She is between two worlds but can...