Anyone familiar with Richard Russo's acclaimed novels will recognize Gloversville, once famous for producing that eponymous product and anything else made of leather. This is where the author grew up, the only son of an aspirant mother and a charming, feckless father who were born into this close-knit community. But by the time of his childhood in the 1950s, prosperity was inexorably being replaced by poverty and illness (often tannery-related), with everyone barely scraping by under a very low horizon.
"Elsewhere---but not far enough"
A timeless collection of short stories about an imaginary small town, unified by the presence of Winesburg Eagle reporter George Willard, Winesburg, Ohio is, as H.L. Mencken said upon it's publication in 1919, "vivid, so full of insight, so shiningly life-like and glowing, that the book is lifted into a category all its own."
"The beauty of Anderson's words is haunting."
Jean Russo was a single mother in the 1950s, badly paid and living with her parents in Gloversville, New York, a dead-end town whose heyday as the hub of the leather-goods industry was just a distant memory. ‘You are getting out of Gloversville’ was her mantra throughout Richard’s high school years. And when he finally made his intrepid escape from the family home on Helwig Street - fleeing to a far-flung college in a banger nicknamed The Gray Death - Jean saw her chance of a better life elsewhere.