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About Anna Clark
Anna Clark is a journalist in Detroit. She’s the author of "The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy," named one of best books of the year by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus, the New York Public Library, Amazon, Audible, and others. It is the winner of the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism and a Michigan Notable Book. Anna’s articles have appeared in Elle, the New York Times, Politico, the Columbia Journalism Review, Next City, and other places. She edited "A Detroit Anthology" and wrote a book on the literary culture of the Great Lakes State. Anna has been a Fulbright fellow in Kenya, and a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan.
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When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins.
Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water supply to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint, mostly poor and African American, were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives.
It took eighteen months of activism by city residents and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. By that time, twelve people had died and Flint’s children had suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster has only just begun.
In the first full account of this American tragedy, Anna Clark's The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision making. Places like Flint are set up to fail—and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences can be fatal.
From Ernest Hemingway’s rural adventures to the gritty fiction of Joyce Carol Oates, the landscape of the “Third Coast” has inspired generations of the nation’s greatest storytellers.
Michigan Literary Luminaries shines a spotlight on this rich heritage of the Great Lakes State. Discover how Saginaw greenhouses shaped the life of Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Theodore Roethke. Compare the common traits of Detroit crime writers like Elmore Leonard and Donald Goines. Learn how Dudley Randall revolutionized American literature by doing for poets what Motown Records did for musicians, and more. With a mixture of history, criticism, and original reporting, journalist Anna Clark takes us on a surprising literary tour.