“Writers like Stuart Dybek, Studs Terkel, Sandra Cisneros, Nelson Algren and Gwendolyn Brooks start to make up the city’s canon. They are required reading for every Chicagoan. But Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology, the neighborhood cookbook taking the pulse of post-industrial Chicago right now seems like required reading as well.”— Emma Terhaar, Third Coast Review
“A lively grab bag of essays, fiction and poetry that reads at times like who’s who of contemporary Chicago writers/residents.” — Chris Borrelli, Chicago Tribune
“One of the best books to come across my desk that I can frankly remember.”—Rick Kogan, WGN Radio
Chicago is built on a foundation of meat and railroads and steel, but its identity long ago stretched past manufacturing. A city of opportunity from the get-go, it continues to lure new residents from around the world, and from across a region rocked by recession and deindustrialization. But the problems that plague the Belt don’t disappear once you get past Gary. In fact, they’re often amplified. Chicago’s glittering downtown towers stand in sharp contrast to the struggling south and west sides. A city defined by movement that’s the anchor of the Midwest, bound to its neighbors by a shared ecosystem and economy, Chicago’s complicated – both of the Belt and beyond it. Which makes it a perfect subject for a book.
2017 Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology shines a light on the common ground Chicago shares with the Rust Belt through essays, memoir, journalism, fiction, and poetry. Includes work by Chloe Taft, Sonya Huber, Britt Julious, Kari Lydersen, Kevin Coval, Mark Guarino, and many more.
Edited by Martha Bayne, Senior Editor, Belt Publishing
Cover image by Tony Fitzpatrick, design by Sheila Sachs
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