Recently, I had the pleasure of reading a proof edition of Stink : Poetry and Prose of Detroit. I was blown away by this depth of this book. It's written both in prose and poetry to give a balance of the ideas and reality of the city now.
As a city, Detroit has taken the brunt of our current economic tourmoil. It's hard to conceptualize that one city could fall so far and so hard. I've heard people say they'd rather be in Beruit than Detroit now. Gangs have all but taken over the neighborhoods. Good, honest people hide in terror in their homes. Drugs? Sure. Unemployment? More than any city in the United States. Hopelessness has become a way of life in Detroit.
And Stink tells it all.
When Steinbeck set about writing his California novels (The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, In Dubious Battle), I seriously doubt he thought he was documenting the Depression. Yet decades later, these novels help us understand beyond the numbers and figures. Through Steinbeck, we begin to understand the people who lived through the Depression.
In Stink, Mark created the same kind of genius. He's documented the hearts, souls and minds of the people of Detroit living through our current whatever-you-want-to-call-it.
The book is only $9. Mark explains more about he book in this blog post. Do yourself a favor, email him at email@example.com and beg him for a copy. You won't regret it.