Midwest Futures

Phil Christman (Author)
Available

Description

What does the future hold for the Midwest? A vast stretch of fertile farmland bordering one of the largest concentrations of fresh water in the world, the Midwestern US seems ideally situated for the coming challenges of climate change. But it also sits at the epicenter of a massive economic collapse that many of its citizens are still struggling to overcome. The question of what the Midwest is (and what it will become) is nothing new. As Phil Christman writes in this idiosyncratic new book, ambiguity might be the region's defining characteristic. Taking a cue from Jefferson's grid, the famous rectangular survey of the Old Northwest Territory that turned everything from Ohio to Wisconsin into square-mile lots, Christman breaks his exploration of Midwestern identity, past and present, into 36 brief, interconnected essays. The result is a sometimes sardonic, often uproarious, and consistently thought-provoking look at a misunderstood place and the people who call it home.

Product Details

Price
$26.00  $23.92
Publisher
Belt Publishing
Publish Date
April 07, 2020
Pages
150
Dimensions
5.3 X 0.8 X 7.4 inches | 0.6 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781948742610

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About the Author

A former substitute teacher, shelter worker, and home health aide, Phil Christman currently lectures in the English department at University of Michigan. His work has appeared in The Hedgehog Review, Commonweal, The Christian Century, The Outline, and other places. He holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina-Columbia. He is the editor of the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, a journal sponsored by the University of Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Project. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Reviews

"Brisk and thought-provoking. ... Reading Christman's book is like a road trip through time and sentiment and culture of the Midwest." --Martha Stuit, Pulp: Arts Around Ann Arbor
"A combination of history, memoir, reportage, and lit-crit that taught me a lot about a region I've reported on....Check it out." --James Fallows, The Atlantic
"This is a fantastic book by one of the most underappreciated writers of my generation on a topic that isn't easy to write about. It's such a joy that I zipped through it in a single day." --Scott Beauchamp, The Washington Examiner
"To write about the Midwest is to risk joining a succession of truisms that tread and retread the same ground. In Midwest Futures, Christman sidesteps this fate. Rather than try to pin the region to a single argument or narrative, he makes a mosaic out of its multiplicity." --Megan Marz, The Washington Post
"Christman's text is pointed and often very funny as he ponders a subject that has been hiding in plain sight. ... Though much of the tone is dark and acerbic, the author finds glimmers of hope in the region as "a moral frontier," where Americans might best face the considerable challenges of capitalism and climate change. A provocative analysis. You'll never think of Peoria in the same way again." --Kirkus Reviews