Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A "Federal Writers Project" for the New Great Depression

State by State, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey is a timely tribute to FDR's Federal Writers Project, a program that gave a variety of employment opportunities to writers during the last Great Depression. 50 writers present chapters on each of the 50 states.

Jayne Anne Phillips is the necessary author of the West Virginia chapter. Other authors who have been guests at the Institute include Susan Choi writing about Indiana, Rick Moody on Connecticut, Louise Erdrich on North Dakota, Ha Jin on Georgia, William Vollmann on California, Susan Orlean on Ohio, Dave Eggers on Illinois, and Tony Horwitz on Virginia.

Last but not least, the book features an Afterword on Washington, D.C. by Edward P. Jones.