Author and Journalist, Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh is a journalist who has reported for the New York Times, Harper’s, the Guardian, and many other publications. Her first book, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, was an instant New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, the winner of the Chicago Tribune Literary Prize, and a best-books-of-the-year selection by President Barack Obama. Her 2020 book She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Smarsh is a frequent political commentator and speaker on socioeconomic class. A former writing professor, Smarsh has served as a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. She lives in rural Kansas.

Smarsh’s next book, Bone of the Bone: Essays on America from a Daughter of the Working Class, 2012-2024, will be published by Scribner in 2024. She is also at work on a book about the endangered tallgrass prairie ecosystem, which will be published by Scribner in 2026.