The Archives: Sarah Smarsh on the BookPeople Podcast!

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A little Flashback Friday action for y’all! We dove into the archives of the BookPeople podcast for one of our favorite conversations. Author Sarah Smarsh visited BookPeople  to read and sign her book Heartland, which was longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Listen in as Sarah Smarsh discusses her eye-opening memoir with Rose Cahalan from the Texas Observer.

9781501133091About the book: During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves in this, her first book, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact intergenerational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities, and she explores this idea as lived experience, metaphor, and level of consciousness.

Enjoy this episode and more of our event programming on the BookPeople Podcast.


Sarah Smarsh has written about socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for the Guardian, the New York Times, the Texas ObserverPacific Standard, the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and many other publications. A recent Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former professor of nonfiction writing, Smarsh is a frequent speaker on economic inequality and media narratives relating this topic. She lives in Kansas. Heartland is her first book.

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