Lessons In Persuasion (Paperback)

Creative Nonfiction/Pittsburgh Connections

By Lee Gutkind (Editor)

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822957157, 320pp.

Publication Date: April 20, 2000

List Price: 32.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Pittsburgh has always been—despite its industrial reputation—a great city in which to be a writer. Its active, close-knit writing community has seen the rise of several luminaries with Pittsburgh connections, such as Annie Dillard and Stewart O’Nan, and the caliber of Pittsburgh’s writing community today is better than ever. Lee Gutkind has assembled a reunion of sorts with writers from across the nation, as well as the up-and-coming stars on the local scene—each of whom has a Pittsburgh connection. Many grew up in the region, others attended college here: all of them have an association with the city. The resulting collection of essays is both gentle and jarring, eclectic and persuasive, covering a range of topics—from a stripper’s work ethic to West Virginia’s famed Matewan shootout, Atlantic City’s Boardwalk before Donald Trump, and the uses of poetry to better understand one’s own life. Although Pittsburgh is not the subject of most of the essays, these writers are bound by their affinity for the written word and their collective fondness for Pittsburgh.

Praise For Lessons In Persuasion: Creative Nonfiction/Pittsburgh Connections

“Lee Gutkind’s Lessons in Persuasion not only honors  the city of Pittsburgh, it reinforces through its wide-ranging and uniformly brilliant selections the notion—too often forgotten—that place, after family, is the second cradle of language, and that writers write best when they draw on the energies of their formation.”
—Sven Birkerts