Plain Air: Sketches from Winesburg, Indiana


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Baobab Press
Publish Date
4.9 X 8.1 X 0.3 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Michael Martone was born and grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He attended Butler University and graduated from Indiana University. He holds the MA from The Writing Seminars of The Johns Hopkins University. His most recent books are The Complete Writings of Art Smith, The Bird Boy of Fort Wayne, Edited by Michael Martone, The Moon Over Wapakoneta, and Brooding. He lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


By the end of this collection, you've been to Winesburg, Indiana. You can recall its businesses and its citizens and whatever it is that is each person's personal business--what makes them tick, individually--what makes them get up in the morning to try, again, to live with themselves and with each other--what makes the many of them so very individual in these vivid and intricate snapshots of their souls. -- Molly Gaudry, We Take Me Apart

Michael Martone is our curator of community, our impresario of Americana, our chandler of the national flame. Plain Air is a wonder. It offers history, wit, and wistfulness all at once--a portrait of a small town made whole by its citizens' laughters and loves. -- Alyson Hagy, Scribe

Plain Air comprises a collage of municipal sadnesses--a poverty of tourists, an amalgam of quiet losses, a blank billboard, an abandoned floss factory, a low-grade apprehension in the face of something already passed, an inventory of forlorn hearts, a docufiction about the exceptional mundane. His Winesburg, Indiana, metaphorizes Flyover as an existential condition with innovative lyricism, meticulous intelligence, and an always-arched eyebrow. -- Lance Olsen, Skin Elegies and My Red Heaven

Plain Air puns and pranks, twists and turns with every new sketch on every page. A play on Sherwood Anderson's classic collection, Martone takes us to Winesburg, Indiana, a post-industrial town with its dying eraser factory, and a cast of characters more alive in their passions, obsessions, and idiosyncrasies than any in contemporary fiction. What a great read. I laughed, cried, and was moved by the characters' desire to finally take their place in the intricate web of Winesburg, all the way to their vanishing points in the mural on the post office wall. -- Mary Swander, The Girls on the Roof

Michael Martone's Plain Air sketches, like prose poems, erupt sharp with insight . . . They're really weird and profound. What more could you want? -- Terese Svoboda, Great American Desert

Misfits rejoice! Michael Martone's Plain Air gives voice, vision, and velocity to the ordinary and quiet lives of people overlooked, undervalued, and sometimes erased. Each sketch of humanity draws a reader in to the heart of the matter--a curation of basic being. I laughed, I cried, I held my breath, I felt at home. What beautiful little heart bomblettes. -- Lidia Yuknavitch, Thrust & Verge