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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-454-6373.
Register online for this and other Books in the ‘Burgh events.
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
For 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.