Author Visit: Angels of Detroit by Chris Hebert
Once an example of American industrial might, Detroit has gone bankrupt, its streets dark, its storefronts vacant. Miles of city blocks lie empty, saplings growing through the cracked foundations of abandoned buildings.
In razor-sharp, beguiling prose, Angels of Detroit draws us into the lives of multiple characters struggling to define their futures in this desolate landscape: a scrappy group of activists trying to save the city with placards and protests; a curious child who knows the blighted city as her own personal playground; an elderly great-grandmother eking out a community garden in an oil-soaked patch of dirt; a carpenter with an explosive idea of how to give the city a new start; a confused idealist who has stumbled into debt to a human trafficker; a weary corporate executive who believes she is doing right by the city she remembers at its prime--each of their desires is distinct, and their visions for a better city are on a collision course.
In this propulsive, masterfully plotted epic, an urban wasteland whose history is plagued with riots and unrest is reimagined as an ambiguous new frontier--a site of tenacity and possible hope. Driven by struggle and suspense, and shot through with a startling empathy, Christopher Hebert's magnificent second novel unspools an American story for our time.
CHRISTOPHER HEBERT is the author of the novels Angels of Detroit (Bloomsbury, 2016) and The Boiling Season (HarperCollins, 2012), winner of the 2013 Friends of American Writers award. He is also co-editor of Stories of Nation: Fictions, Politics, and the American Experience (forthcoming UT Press). His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such publications as FiveChapters, Cimarron Review, Narrative, Interview, and the Millions. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and is editor-at-large for the University of Michigan Press. Currently he lives in Knoxville, TN, where he is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Tennessee.