Phil Christman teaches first-year writing at the University of Michigan and is the editor of the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing. His work has appeared in The Christian Century, Paste, Books & Culture, and other publications. His most recent books are How to Be Normal and Midwest Futures.
We bad-movie watchers have our own anticriteria, the sorts of badness we prefer.
What is this thing we’re trying to be?
Small wonder that Midwestern cities, institutions, and people show up again and again in the twentieth-century effort to determine what, in America, is normal.