I started this blog to offer readers samples of from RUST BELT BOY: Stories of an American Childhood, published in May 2016.
Learn more at www.paulhertneky.com
The book tells the story of a generation–children and grandchildren of immigrants, half of whom became emigrants themselves. When heavy industry collapsed in the late 1970s, nearly six million Baby Boomers fled America’s industrial north over the next twenty years, creating Rust Belt diaspora. Another six million stayed.
“I felt Hertneky was writing a love letter to my own boyhood,” says National Book Award-winner Bob Shacochis.
Nearly all of the essays and stories are set in my hometown of Ambridge, Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh. But every American settlement has seen waves of immigrants. Those waves often come and go without us recognizing their singularity, their influence, and the pattern they follow. I have written these essays and stories to acknowledge the boomers who moved away— from Milwaukee and Youngstown and Scranton and all the places in between—and in appreciation for those who stayed home and supplied the gravity, took care of the parents, the towns, and each other.
About me — Paul Hertneky:
For 25 years I have been writing for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio, and television. Most of my journalistic work centers on food, relating to culture, history, health, the environment, the restaurant industry, cooking, and travel. In addition to hundreds of features, essays, and stories for periodicals, my work also has appeared anthologies and has won two James Beard nominations and a Solas Award for travel writing. I have written two screenplays and am working on a three-part travel narrative set in Greece. For 16 years, I taught graduate students at Antioch University New England and am currently on the MFA faculty at Chatham University. I hold an MFA in Writing & Literature from Bennington College.
Find out more at www.paulhertneky.com
Order RUST BELT BOY: Stories of an American Childhood from Amazon, or visit you local bookstore.