Thorndike Press

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

  • Sarah Smarsh
  • Offered By:
  • ISBN-10: 1432859560
  • ISBN-13: 9781432859565
  • DDC: B
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 lbs ( .61 kgs)
  • 442 Pages | Hardcover
  • Published/Released December 2018

This product is part of:

Biographies and Memoirs - Large Print Standing Order Plan

A Mix of bestselling and well-reviewed biographies and memoirs — including: historical biographies, celebrity biographies and memoirs, and inspiring narrative memoirs relating fascinating and compelling experiences of intriguing people.

About

Overview

An Instant New York Times Bestseller
A Finalist for the National Book Award
A Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, New York Post, BuzzFeed, Shelf Awareness, Bustle, and Publishers Weekly

Sarah 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 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.

During Sarah’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, she enjoyed the freedom of a country childhood, but observed the painful challenges of the poverty around her; untreated medical conditions for lack of insurance or consistent care, unsafe job conditions, abusive relationships, and limited resources and information that would provide for the upward mobility that is the American Dream. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves with clarity and precision but without judgement, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country.

Beautifully written, in a distinctive voice, Heartland combines personal narrative with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, challenging the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less.

Reviews

Customer Reviews

“Candid and courageous . . . Smarsh's raw and intimate narrative exposes a country of economic inequality that has ‘failed its children.’”

— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“[A] powerful message of class bias . . . A potent social and economic message [is] embedded within an affecting memoir.”

— Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“By interweaving memoir, history, and social commentary, this book serves as a countervailing voice to J.D. Vance’s HILLBILLY ELEGY, which blamed individual choices, rather than sociological circumstances, for any one person ending up in poverty. Smarsh believes the American Dream is a myth, noting that success is more dependent on where you were born and to whom . . . Will appeal to readers who enjoy memoirs and to sociologists. While Smarsh ends on a hopeful note, she offers a searing indictment of how the poor are viewed and treated in this country.”

— Library Journal