Part of Belt's City Anthology Series. "A strong series of personal essays, historical exploration, nature writing, and photography. ... Love's anthology gathers Gary's] resilience without shying away from the city's hard realities."―Chicago Review of Books
Once the second-largest city in Indiana, and home to the world's largest steel mill, Gary has suffered greatly in the postindustrial global economy. Population numbers now approach pre-Great Depression lows. Large swathes of its land are urban prairie, and a recent survey found a quarter of its built environment is in a dilapidated or dangerous condition. But Gary is also a national center of Black culture and political power. It is home to the Indiana Dunes National Park and globally rare ecosystems. Union, community organizing, and environmental justice struggles there have profoundly shaped social and political life in the United States.
Edited by Samuel A. Love, The Gary Anthology's contributors include essayists, poets, and journalists, but also graffiti writers, ministers, activists, organizers, and steel workers. Their insights into the city complicate our simplified narratives about violence and urban decay, offering readers the chance to hear from those who are reshaping the city from the bottom up.
A nuanced look of a city that is full of everyday joys and tragedies and a vibrant rebuke to stale notions that Gary is "dead."