On July 10th, alumna Anna Clark, '03 RC Creative Writing and Literature and LSA Art History, will release her long-awaited journalistic portrayal of the Flint water crisis. The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy, published by Metropolitan Books, is the culmination of more than three years of work that includes her own published coverage, as well as interviews, accessing governmental documents, periods of residency in Flint, and research into the urban planning and legal policies that have contribued to this state of emergency.
In episode 4 of the RC podcast (26:35), Anna and Robby discuss some key findings that are laid out in the book, her process for writing it, and her truths about what it's like to be a journalist today. She touches on some of her U-M experiences that prepared her for this kind of work including The Michigan Daily, the RC intensive Spanish program, and the coursework she completed in her RC Creative Writing major.
Here are a few reviews of the book, starting with one from an RC faculty member:
“With every heartbreaking detail, Anna Clark’s must-read and beautifully rendered account of the Flint water crisis makes clear that this horrific poisoning of an essential American city was never just an unfortunate accident. Instead, it was the tragic, and indeed tragically inevitable, result of the fiscal, as well as environmental, racism that seems to run as deeply and powerfully in this country as water itself.”
―Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, RC Social Theory and Practice and LSA History and Afroamerican and African Studies Professor
“Searing scrutiny… Riveting… A sobering read through all the spin and cover ups… A cornucopia of history and responsibly researched details… I have yet to encounter a more thorough, accurate or readable account of the poisoning of Flint’s municipal water supply than The Poisoned City. This is an important book, for Flint, for all American cities, and for our nation.”
―East Village Magazine (Flint, Michigan)
“[A] complex, exquisitely detailed account … A potent cautionary tale of urban neglect and indifference. Infuriated readers will be heartened by the determined efforts of protesters and investigative reporters.”
―Kirkus (starred review)
The Ann Arbor District Library will host Anna for a book signing event
July 10th at the Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room , 7-8:30pm.
Anna was featured alongside fellow U-M alumna, Mona Hanna-Attisha, in the most recent issue of The Alumnus from the U-M Alumni Association.
Podcast music credit: Jay St. Thomas, aka AudioBinger, www.audiobinger.net