Rust Belt Boy, Paul Hertneky

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
History Center - Library & Archives Reading Room
FREE, but does not include access to museum exhibitions.

Add to Calendar08/23/2017 07:00 PM08/23/2017 08:30 PMAmerica/New_YorkBooks in the ‘Burgh: Rust Belt BoyAs part of the Books in the ‘Burgh literary series, join the History Center for a reading, discussion, and book signing with Paul Hertneky, author of “Rust Belt Boy.”Heinz History CenterHeinz History CenterfalseMM/DD/YYYY

As part of the Books in the ‘Burgh literary series, join the History Center for a reading, discussion, and book signing with Paul Hertneky, author of “Rust Belt Boy.”

Admission to this event is free, but does not include access to museum exhibitions.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Caroline Fitzgerald at ccfitzgerald@heinzhistorycenter.org or 412-454-6373.

Registration

Register online for this and other Books in the ‘Burgh events.

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About Rust Belt Boy

“Rust Belt Boy brings to life in loving, lyric detail an essential but overlooked portrait of America’s blue collar heart. It deserves to become a classic,” writes National Book Award Finalist, Sy Montgomery.

Weaving through time and the smokestacks of the company town of Ambridge, Pa., Paul Hertneky escorts us into scenes of intimacy and awe – under a dining room table surrounded by the ankles and brogues of immigrant elders, onto the back seat of a Ford watching the Sons of Vulcan’s forges light up the night. With iron flakes in his hair, he encounters gypsy crones pulling magic tricks, fellow steelworkers itching for a fight, and sloe-eyed beauties leading him into dark corners.

Through vivid storytelling, we smell his Czechoslovakian grandmothers’ cooking, walk saloon-lined streets, and hear backroom politicos making deals in a restaurant. We witness the last gasp of heavy industry in America. We feel the aspirations of a generation running headlong into economic crises that would propel a national diaspora of six million Baby Boomers.

“Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood”​ illuminates moments that change our lives and the small recurrences that our shape decisions. In a millworker’s milieu, seldom seen by outsiders, filled with soot, solvents, and sharp edges, we encounter the work ethic of immigrants, then as now. Its pages explore the push-and-pull of family and a hometown, the gravity – nearby or at a distance – that keeps us in orbit around our roots.

About Paul Hertneky

Paul HertnekyFor over 25 years, Paul Hertneky has written stories, essays, and scripts for the Boston Globe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, NBC News, The Comedy Channel, Gourmet, Eating Well, Traveler’s Tales, The Exquisite Corpse, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Adbusters, and many more. He has won a Solas Award for travel writing and two James Beard Award nominations. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he serves on the faculty of Chatham University and lives with his wife, Robbie, in Hancock, New Hampshire.