The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt.pdf
David Giffels is an assistant professor of English at the University of Akron, where he teaches creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program. His most recent book, All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House, received widespread acclaim. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Grantland, Redbook, and many other publications. Giffels was a columnist and feature writer for the Akron Beacon Journal from 1994 to 2008. He was also a writer for MTV’s Beavis and Butt-Head. Giffels’s recent awards include the Cleveland Arts Prize for literature, the Ohioana Book Award, and the AP’s “Best News Writer in Ohio” award. He lives in Akron, Ohio, with his wife and two children.
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.
The Industrial Midwest built modern America, thrived for almost a century, then profoundly collapsed. But for cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Akron, a devoted tract of the population remains in the Rust Belt, committed to celebrating its singular Midwest culture and carrying it forward. David Giffels was born in Akron in the 1960s, as the golden age was ending, and has lived there ever since. Now he plumbs the touchstones and idiosyncrasies of a region where industry has fallen, bowling is a legitimate profession, extreme weather is the norm, thrift store culture dominates, and sports is heartbreak in a rarely told story of a unique American generation whose deep regional pride was born of economic failure and hardship. The Hard Way on Purpose is the story from the inside, written by someone who never left, about the life that goes on there and what it means.
Intelligent, humorous, and warm, Giffels’s collection of linked essays is about coming of age in the Midwest, and the stubborn, optimistic, proud, and resourceful people who thrive there.