Author bio

Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh - book author

Journalist Sarah Smarsh has covered socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for The Guardian, The New York Times, NewYorker.com, Harpers.org, Longreads, Pacific Standard and many others. A native of rural Kansas, Smarsh is a frequent speaker and commentator on economic inequality and the news media. She lives in Kansas.

Sarah Smarsh is the author of books: Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, It Happened in Kansas: Remarkable Events that Shaped History, Outlaw Tales of Kansas: True Stories of the Sunflower State's Most Infamous Crooks, Culprits, and Cutthroats, Heartland: Au cœur de la pauvreté dans le pays le plus riche du monde, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, Kansas Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places, Kansas Off the Beaten Path(r): Discover Your Fun


Author books

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Title
Description
01
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, 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.

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 as the daughter of a dissatisfied young mother and raised predominantly by her grandmother 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. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.
02
It Happened in Kansas features over 25 chapters in Kansas history.  Lively and entertaining, this book brings the varied and fascinating history of the Sunflower State to life.
03
A refreshing new perspective on some of the most infamous reprobates of the Midwest.
05
America is broken. You don’t need a fistful of statistics to know this. Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered social compact will present itself. From Appalachia to the Rust Belt and down to rural Texas, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest stretches across gaping chasms. Whether the cause of this inequality is systemic injustice, the entrenchment of racism in our culture, the long war on drugs, or immigration policies, it endangers not only the American Dream but our very lives.

In Tales of Two Americas, some of the literary world’s most exciting writers look beyond numbers and wages to convey what it feels like to live in this divided nation. Their extraordinarily powerful stories, essays, and poems demonstrate how boundaries break down when experiences are shared, and that in sharing our stories we can help to alleviate a suffering that touches so many people.
06
Kansas Off the Beaten Path features the things travelers and locals want to see and experience––if only they knew about them. From the best in local dining to quirky cultural tidbits to hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales, Kansas Off the Beaten Path takes the reader down the road less traveled and reveals a side of Kansas that other guidebooks just don't offer.
07
Kansas Off the Beaten Path features the things travelers and locals want to see and experience--if only they knew about them. From the best in local dining to quirky cultural tidbits to hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales, Kansas Off the Beaten Path takes the reader down the road less traveled and reveals a side of Kansas that other guidebooks just don't offer.