Books

Tiny Libraries Are Leaving Big Impacts in Book Deserts Across the Midwest

Little “bookshelves on a stick” sit on sidewalk corners, in front of houses or on busy roads. They often feature fun display colors and...

The Art of Publishing Midwestern Literature

When Robert James Russell, a Michigander, went to England to study American Modernism, he found that in the curriculum “there was kind of a...

Booktown: Ann Arbor’s Enduring Literary Legacy

Picture the perfect bookstore. Are you standing in New York City, facing the miles of shelves that make up the Strand? Are you imagining...

When Pandemic Hit, Libraries Were There — And for More Than Just Books

When 2020 hit, it seemed like no one was prepared for what was to come. Except, maybe, libraries.  Not to say the pandemic didn’t hit...

Where Does Detroit Go From Here? A (2021) Review of The Origins of the Urban Crisis (1996)

Type “Detroit” into Google, and prepare yourself for an extensive and thorough narrative of negativity before you even click “search”: “Is Detroit bad?”, “Why...

Midwest Indie Presses Are Turning a New Page in Publishing

“When the pandemic first hit and everything really shut down, bookstore sales evaporated overnight.”  Martha Bayne, senior editor with Belt Publishing — an independent press...

Publishing the Midwest

In a time of growing distrust of both public institutions and one another in America, storytelling might just be the remedy. Stories, according to...

The Rural Struggle for Survival: A Review of American Salvage

The fourteen short stories in Bonnie Jo Campbell’s 2009 finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, American Salvage, introduce rural characters of all shapes and colors. What binds them is their focus on finding what they need to survive, whether it be a companion or a barrel of gasoline. The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official organizational stance. Cover graphic by Jessie Walton for Midstory.

Sustained Outrage in the Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic: A Review of Death in Mud Lick

Pulitzer-prize winner Eric Eyre’s new book exposes how hard drug distributors work to keep eyes off of their numbers and how important it is for journalists to keep looking. In the small towns of America, it can literally mean life or death. The opinions expressed in this series are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official organizational stance. Cover graphic by Ruth Chang for Midstory.

What the Midwest Might Yet Be: A Review of Midwest Futures

The questions of what the Midwest is and who Midwesterners are have long been a subject of great debate with unsatisfactory answers. Now, in his new book Midwest Futures, Phil Christman offers his own answer—not by describing or defining, but by identifying the forces that have long shaped America’s heartland.

Read more