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In the Middle of the Middle West: Literary Nonfiction from the Heartland written by Becky Bradway


In the Middle of the Middle West: Literary Nonfiction from the Heartland written by Becky Bradway


The 42 essays in this collection take their inspiration from the Midwest—not just from its physical terrain but from its emotional terrain as well. They come from writers of diverse backgrounds: poets, novelists, filmmakers, and journalists; some who came and stayed, some who came and left, and some who were born and raised in this place. The essays revolve generally around issues of conflict between place and identity, and the theme of diversity—be it religious, sexual, racial, artistic, cultural, occupational, or geographical—runs throughout. Writers featured in this collection include Maxine Chernoff, Stuart Dybek, Michael Martone, Cris Mazza, James McManus, Scott Russell Sanders, Mary Swander, and many others of national reputation.


A rich and comprehensive collection of literary writings about the Midwest.

Library Journal

The 42 nonfiction pieces about America's heartland found in this collection offer different perspectives, as their contributors include not only novelists and poets but also journalists, filmmakers, and many others who have either been raised in the Midwest or have lived there at one point in their lives (e.g., Stuart Dybek, Mary Swander, and James McManus). Edited by Bradway (Pink Houses and Family Taverns), the collection is divided into ideological segments, such as "Outskirts," "California, Midwest," "Houses," and "Transit." Although almost any essay could easily stand alone, the thematic organization makes sense, whether the essay is about a displaced Californian who can come to love the "middle of nowhere" or an in-depth examination of the L in Chicago. Many of the pieces examine the geography of the Midwest or the lack of a single unifying geography. Others express a delight in the subtlety and beauty of the region and its people. As a native Midwesterner, this reviewer was most interested in the sense of wonder from those who come from the right or left coast and view this large midsection of our country with fresh eyes. Recommended for libraries collecting regional materials.-Jan Brue Enright, Augustana Coll. Lib., Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Title: In the Middle of the Middle West: Literary Nonfiction from the Heartland

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