Award-winning author and journalist David Giffels explores the meaning of identity and place, hamburgers, hard work, and basketball in this collection of wry, irreverent essays reflecting on the many aspects of Midwestern culture and life from an insider’s perspective.
In The Hard Way on Purpose, David Giffels takes us on an insider’s journey through the wreckage and resurgence of America’s Rust Belt. A native who never knew the good times, yet never abandoned his hometown of Akron, Giffels plumbs the touchstones and idiosyncrasies of a region where industry has fallen, bowling is a legitimate profession, bizarre weather is the norm, rock ’n’ roll is desperate, thrift store culture thrives, and sports is heartbreak. Intelligent, humorous, and warm, Giffels’s linked essays are about coming of age in the Midwest and about the stubborn, optimistic, and resourceful people who prevail there.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
David Giffels is the author of The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches From the Rust Belt, nominated for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, the memoir All the Way Home, winner of the Ohioana Book Award, and Furnishing Eternity. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic.com, Parade, the Wall Street Journal, Esquire.com, Grantland.com, Redbook, and many other publications. He also was a writer for the MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head. He is an associate professor of English at the University of Akron, where he teaches creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Heart of the Heart of it All 1
The Chosen Ones 3
Popular Stories for Boys 29
Delta Lows 42
The Lake Effect 55
All Stars 65
Kareem's the One with the Glasses, Right? 72
Part 2 Be Approximately Yourself 87
Looking for a Name 89
Working Hard or Hardly Working? 100
Cutting the Mustard 107
Trapped in a World That They Never Made 125
867-5309: A Love Song 140
Part 3 Local Men 145
The Taj Mahal 147
The Poet's Assistant 161
Apartment X 168
Anarchy Girls 176
Part 4 The Middle is Near 191
Do Not Cry for Me, Arizona 221
Pretty Vacant 233
Unreal Estates 242
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It is a very good book about living in a Rust Belt city. It shows how you don't need a lot to be happy. This is a must reading for our overly materialistic society.
Introspective without being navel gazing, and filled with poignant humor, The Hard Way captures our nature in an honest & endearing way. A must-read if you grew up in the industrial heartland or simply want to reconnect with the roots of our middle class culture. No doubt you will rediscover a part of yourself on nearly every page. David's writing is like hanging out in the driveway playing HORSE with your best buddies until your mom calls you for dinner. The best of times...most appreciated with several hard-earned years of adulthood under you belt.