Bruce Fisher: Where the Street Are Paved With Rust

[BOOK SIGNING] In the preface to his first book of essays, 2012’s Borderland (SUNY Press), Bruce Fisher writes, “When I left home at seventeen, I moved to the city. Then I left a small city for one of America’s great cities, and there embraced the established tradition of big-city life, and got myself a place in it as a big-city journalist.” That first, small city was Buffalo, where the Southern Tier native had attended Calasanctius High School, from which he moved on to the University of Chicago, then to a career in journalism, and from that quickly into a career in politics, which led him from Chicago to Washington, DC, and eventually to Buffalo’s City Hall and Erie County’s Rath Building. When his career in politics came to an end, in 2007, he returned to journalism, this time bringing to bear all he had learned along the way to study of the economics, politics, and social fabric of the region in which he was raised and to which he had returned as an adult. Fisher’s second book, Where The Street Are Paved With Rust: Essays From America’s Broken Heartland (The Public Books, 2018), is the latest manifestation of that work. The book—a collaborative publication between The Public and Foundlings Press—reflects Fisher’s understanding of this region’s history and traditions, the threats to it posed by national and global economic and environmental trends, the reactions to and opportunities presented when fronts break over one another. Fisher seems always to be writing, in one way or another, about frontiers—about the encounter of the old and the new, the established and the inexorable. The surface conflict—between real-estate developers and neighborhood activists, say, or between smart-growth advocates and the local banking establishment—always gives way to a greater conflict and a greater context. Fisher will be discussing and signing copies of his books on Wednesday, May 16, at Talking Leaves Books, 7-9pm. Pick up a copy, chat with the author, and find out what’s next from The Public Books and Foundlings Press. -GEOFF KELLY



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