UVA alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends in the Charlottesville community are invited to join us for the UVA Club of Charlottesville’s March book club, where we will discuss Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh, a featured author during the 2019 Virginia Festival of the Book later this month.
About the book: Sarah Smarsh was born a fifth-generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side, and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experiences growing up on a farm thirty miles west of Wichita, we are given a unique and essential look into the lives of poor and working class Americans living in the heartland.
During Sarah’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, she enjoyed the freedom of a country childhood, but observed the painful challenges of the poverty around her; untreated medical conditions for lack of insurance or consistent care, unsafe job conditions, abusive relationships, and limited resources and information that would provide for the upward mobility that is the American Dream. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves with clarity and precision but without judgement, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country.
A beautifully written memoir that combines personal narrative with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland examines the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less.