Midwestern Literature is Alive

December 20, 2017

Midwestern Literature is Alive

Photo by Gozha Net

"Upon confessing homesickness I have heard, 'I didn’t think there was anything there to miss.' Yet Walt Whitman once described the Midwest as the nation’s 'crown and teeming paradise.' So what happened?" Sonya Huber

We're completely enamored with this article by Sonya Huber published last week on Electric Lit, in which she describes the history of cultural tension between the Midwest and East Coast that results in Midwestern stories being undermined as "regional," the tellers dismissed as sentimental, provincial, or just hopelessly backwards. What is important about the Midwest? Why are our stories worth telling? "I don’t have a pamphlet or a sales pitch, and I’m still searching for the book that captures the essence I love," Huber writes. "Maybe I could take you there to smell the rain, and we could set lawn chairs up in the garage to watch a storm roll in." 

Mark Athitakis's The New Midwest is a book for readers, a directory of new Midwestern fiction that challenges tired stereotypes of the American heartland. To expand your own image of the Rust Belt, Great Plains, and Great Lakes regions, and to add a slew of new books to your reading list, start there.