Sarah Smarsh

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April 2018


Sarah Smarsh is a Kansas-based journalist who has reported for The New York Times, The Guardian and many other publications. Her first book, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, was a finalist for the National Book Award. A 2018 research fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Smarsh is a frequent speaker and commentator on economic inequality.

Average rating: 3.77 · 13,139 ratings · 2,266 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Heartland: A Memoir of Work...

3.76 avg rating — 11,229 ratings — published 2018 — 15 editions
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She Come By It Natural: Dol...

3.88 avg rating — 1,773 ratings — published 2020 — 7 editions
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It Happened in Kansas: Rema...

3.65 avg rating — 66 ratings — published 2010 — 5 editions
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Outlaw Tales of Kansas: Tru...

3.38 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2010 — 6 editions
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Tales of Two Americas: Stor...

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3.79 avg rating — 1,096 ratings — published 2017 — 10 editions
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Kansas Off the Beaten Path:...

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3.59 avg rating — 22 ratings — published 1991 — 16 editions
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More books by Sarah Smarsh…

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Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
"Absolutely stunning. It has the capacity to open hearts and minds and introduce people like me to a world we have never known. In so doing, judgment and criticism of those who face economic challenge and diminished opportunity can be lessened by thos" Read more of this review »
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
"Sarah Smarsh’s memoir abt growing up poor, mostly in the rural communities outside Wichita, is part narrative, part treatise on gender and class. She addresses her thoughts to an inner voice (I’ll say no more, except that it’s not a silly device).

On" Read more of this review »
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
"Every person in America should read this book. Ms. Smarsh has shared her moving story of one woman's struggle to claim her place in the world by not falling through the cracks in the heartland of her upbringing. She does so with the backdrop of Ameri" Read more of this review »
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
"I deeply appreciate books that combine personal narrative and social/political context. This is a powerful memoir and narrative essay about growing up in working class white family. It is compassionate and nuanced description of family and a moving s" Read more of this review »
Sarah Smarsh has read
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
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Sarah Smarsh has read
Squeezed by Alissa Quart
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Sarah Smarsh has read
Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
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Sarah Smarsh has read
Collected Poems by Jack Gilbert
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Sarah Smarsh has read
Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett
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Sarah Smarsh has read
Working by Studs Terkel
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More of Sarah's books…
“Society’s contempt for the poor becomes the poor person’s contempt for herself.”
Sarah Smarsh, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

“But the American Dream has a price tag on it. The cost changes depending on where you’re born and to whom, with what color skin and with how much money in your parents’ bank account. The poorer you are, the higher the price. You can pay an entire life in labor, it turns out, and have nothing to show for it. Less than nothing, even: debt, injury, abject need.”
Sarah Smarsh, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

“Few people knew how much I was struggling both emotionally and financially, because I didn’t talk to anyone about it or even understand how bad off I was.”
Sarah Smarsh, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth




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