“What a treat! Flint may have had tough times, but that history makes for tough people: good neighbors, brave physicians, hard workers, selfless earth scientists, and, as we see here, creators of a vibrant cultural life. The voices in this collection reveal the talent and scope of storytelling in and around the city. These pieces — by teachers and students, journalists and poets, recent arrivals and lifetime residents and homesick émigrés — stand as proof of the determination and optimism of a city that just won’t quit.” – Thomas C. Foster, author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
“Thank you Scott Atkinson! This anthology touches every corner of this storied city and her inhabitants. The essays are tough and tender, always surprising.” – literary agent Betsy Lerner
Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2016) is Flint at its funniest, its weirdest, and its saddest. A collection of essays and personal narratives, the book, edited by Flint writer and Belt contributor Scott Atkinson, captures a confounding, contradictory city, proving that Flint is far more than the common narrative of an industrial town picking itself up after the big company that fed it left, or the site of a devastating public health crisis.
Happy Anyway delves into the lives and stories within the city — what it was like to be a child on the east side; how it feels to be a parent today, without clean water; who is able to truly lay claim to being “from Flint;” and what it means to finally leave — or to stay, even when bikes or jewelry or love keep disappearing.
Including work from Gordon Young, Jan Worth-Nelson, Connor Coyne, Layla Meillier, Andrew Morton, and many others.