To everyone we said: Tell us a story about your state, the more personal the better, something that captures the essence of the place.
New York, NY (PRWEB) December 4, 2008
In the wake of the watershed election of 2008, this extraordinary tapestry of America reveals how this country has changed. Inspired by the legendary WPA American Guide series of the 1930s and '40s (which employed 6,000 starving writers and dispatched them around the country) this beautifully crafted collection brings together 50 of our foremost authors, each sharing an original piece of reportage and memoir. Co-editor Weiland explains, "To everyone we said: Tell us a story about your state, the more personal the better, something that captures the essence of the place."
At turns poignant and funny, and always eye-opening and insightful, these 50 writers tell us something lasting and revealing about each state. Dave Eggers' riff on the Illinois license plate slogan is a literary standout; Sarah Vowell proffers an inimitable history lesson on how Montanans "have always tended to stick out"; and Alison Bechdel's luminous strip on Vermont tells of love, loss, liberty - and lax dress codes.
"Rarely does a collection of original writing achieve such glorious literary heights and spot-on political relevance as State by State," says Progressive Book Club Editor-in-Chief David Rosen. "From Alabama to Wisconsin, each state receives stellar treatment, as fifty of our finest writers craft deeply personal pieces that bring their own states to vivid life. We tapped this gorgeously assembled book as our December PBC Pick, as it is clearly one of the most fascinating and finest books of 2008."
With its array of idiosyncratic facts and figures, State by State is a dazzling armchair road trip across the land, offering a vibrant state-of-the-union map of America.
The all-star line up of contributors to State by State includes:
George Packer (Alabama); Paul Greenberg (Alaska); Lydia Millet (Arizona); Kevin Brockmeier (Arkansas); William T. Vollmann (California); Benjamin Kunkel (Colorado); Rick Moody (Connecticut); Craig Taylor (Delaware); Joshua Ferris (Florida); Ha Jin (Georgia); Tara Bray Smith (Hawaii); Anthony Doerr (Idaho); Dave Eggers (Illinois); Susan Choi (Indiana); Dagoberto Gilb (Iowa); Jim Lewis (Kansas); John Jeremiah Sullivan (Kentucky); Joshua Clark (Louisiana); Heidi Julavits (Maine); Myla Goldberg (Maryland); John Hodgman (Massachusetts); Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Michigan); Philip Connors (Minnesota); Barry Hannah (Mississippi); Jacki Lyden (Missouri); Sarah Vowell (Montana); Alexander Payne (Nebraska); Charles Bock (Nevada); Will Blythe (New Hampshire); Anthony Bourdain (New Jersey); Ellery Washington (New Mexico); Jonathan Franzen (New York); Randall Kenan (North Carolina); Louise Erdrich (North Dakota); Susan Orlean (Ohio); S.E. Hinton (Oklahoma); Joe Sacco (Oregon); Andrea Lee (Pennsylvania); Jhumpa Lahiri (Rhode Island); Jack Hitt (South Carolina); Saïd Sayrafiezadeh (South Dakota); Ann Patchett (Tennessee); Cristina Henríquez (Texas); David Rakoff (Utah); Alison Bechdel (Vermont); Tony Horwitz (Virginia); Carrie Brownstein (Washington); Jayne Anne Phillips (West Virginia); and Edward P. Jones (afterword on Washington D.C.).
State by State is the seventh PBC Pick for Progressive Book Club, which launched its Web site in June, following The Big Squeeze: Tough Times For the American Worker by Steven Greenhouse (June), Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists by Susan Neiman (July), The Power of Progress: How America's Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate, And Our Country by John Podesta (August), The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism by Ron Suskind (September), The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones (October), and Promised Land by Jay Parini (November).
Our Country by John Podesta (August), The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism by Ron Suskind (September), The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones (October), and Promised Land by Jay Parini (November).
The PBC Pick is chosen monthly by Progressive Book Club's distinguished Editorial Board, which includes Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, Barbara Kingsolver, Hendrik Hertzberg, Gail Sheehy, Katrina vanden Heuvel, John Podesta and Andy Stern, among many prominent authors, journalists, academics and politicos.
About Progressive Book Club
Progressive Book Club finds - and promotes - the books that can change our nation by harnessing the power of the Internet to create an important new platform for progressive ideas. Part bookseller, part social network, and part online magazine, Progressive Book Club is a vibrant forum that has transformed the traditional book club model.