“Here in the Heartland” is the very phrase that opens this short and poignant talk, and the “Heartland” here refers to the Midwest. It’s a bold descriptor that counters an all-too-familiar perception of the region as flyover country, while simultaneously positioning the Midwest as the crucial element in a discussion about the complexities of character. As a Michigan native myself, it’s refreshing – and pleasantly surprising – to consider home as a crucial element of anything.
The podcast seems almost a reflective microcosm of its author: Lee grew up in rural Illinois, his novel River of Heaven is set in Illinois, The Bright Forever in Indiana, and his thoughtfulness towards the hues of character recall any one of his published work; the fictional novel Break the Skin is even dedicated to one of its main characters.
In the podcast, Lee likens teasing out the beauty of the perpetually-unappreciated Midwest to finding the same subtle texture in a writer’s characters. It’s interesting, useful – and also quite beautiful. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel.
You can also read Lee’s past work in Superstition Review.
More About the Author:
Lee Martin is the author of the novels The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction; River of Heaven; Quakertown; and Break the Skin. He has also published three memoirs, From Our House, Turning Bones, and Such a Life. His first book was the short story collection, The Least You Need To Know. He is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He teaches in the MFA Program at The Ohio State University.
About the Authors Talk series:
For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’re now establishing a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.
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