3 April Events, a Question, and Madness

Can’t wait to get back to the Burgh for three readings in early April. All are free, open to the public, and different: a library, a bookstore, and an auditorium. Please join me. I would love to see you.

Saturday, April 8: Carnegie Library West End, 2pm

Sunday, April 9: Barnes & Noble, Cranberry, 12 Noon

Tuesday, April 11: Legacy Theatre at Cumberland Woods Village, Allison Park, 11 am

Before I admit to insanity, I need to ask: what would you like to see here, if anything?

I could keep thanking you and all the readers, bookstores, reviewers, librarians, Amazon commenters, media producers and hosts, friends, family, barbers and hairdressers (you know who you are) who have made the past year a dream. I could post letters from all over the country that would break your heart. Self-serving and boring? Yes.

You can find news about Ambridge at Ambridge Connection, and great historical pieces at Ambridge Memories. You can find stories about the Rust Belt everywhere, because, in the past year, the nation seems to have noticed the place. And, Pittsburgh? The media has never been more noisy about the city.

I’m happy to consider hosting a conversation about any stimulating or funny topic. In absence of that, I will continue to post book news and events.

Now, this. As heartbreaking, lonely, crushing, and financially unwise as writing RUST BELT BOY has been, it has given me the most surprising and most rewarding single year of my life. Like a junkie, and, as a result, with all the madness of those who race formula one cars, who run for office, who ride bicycles on our roadways, who cook meth, or shoot smack, I’m working on a second book.

Kill me now. Or pity my wife.

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One thought on “3 April Events, a Question, and Madness

  1. I’m a dislocated Rust Belt writer with a belated (lengthy) response to your March 24 post. Because I don’t get on the PA Turnpike back to my native Cleveland often enough, I have to settle for meeting you here. Thank you, Paul, for RUST BELT BOY and for this blog! I just reread “The Prurient Power of Pierogi,”—love the pierogi-as-communion host treatment—and was reminded of my Aunt Maria, who made me blueberry pierogis to soothe an upset stomach when I was a kid visiting her Port Clinton home. I don’t remember if they worked on my stomach, but they worked on my homesick heart. As does your writing.

    What would I like to see here? Your expert take. Is Rust Belt writing becoming its own genre, like Southern Gothic, with its own tropes (foods, faith, rivers/Lake, dirty snow)? The election spurred countless stories—of ruin, revolt, and revival in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, and environs. Writers like you and David Giffels are creating a creative response. Or, are you simply writing your story?

    As an emerging writer, I hope my stories find a place in the conversation about what it means to be of the Rust Belt. Shameless plug: my latest short story, set in Ohio, appears in the spring issue of Sou’wester.

    In response to your “madness,” write on (and my condolences to your wife)! I, for one, can’t wait to read what comes next from you.

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