Hometowns

A sign for the city of Backus, Minn.
The entrance to the city of Backus, Minn., one of about 900 small towns and cities in the state. Is one of them your hometown?
Kirsti Marohn | MPR News

Where are you from? Is it a town on the Iron Range? A city block in south Minneapolis? Somewhere outside the United States? We all come from somewhere, and our hometowns shape who we are. 

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns thinks Americans should talk more about the places that define us as a way to learn about each other. He’s teamed up with country music legend Marty Stuart to campaign for a national day to honor our hometowns. 

“The Honor Your Hometown campaign is a reminder that no matter where we’re from — big city or a small town, north or south, east or west — we are connected to the places and people who shaped us,” Burns explained in a video introduction. “So much more connects us than divides us.” 

Host Angela Davis talks with two writers about their sometimes complicated relationships with their hometowns. 

Guests: 

woman in glasses looks at camera
Haven Kimmel
Courtesy
  • Haven Kimmel is the author of the bestselling memoir about her hometown, “A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana,” as well as several novels and children’s books set in the Midwest. She now lives in Durham, N.C. 

    white man with long hair and graying beard looks into camera
    Allen Eskens
    Courtesy
  • Allen Eskens is the bestselling author of a collection of literary mysteries set in Minnesota including “The Life We Bury” and “The Stolen Hours.” His stand-alone novel “Nothing More Dangerous” draws on his own experience growing up in Jefferson City, Mo. He now lives outside Mankato. 

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