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Editorial Reviews


Poets & Writers ​ Names "5 over 50" Notable Debut Authors of 2016. 

See Paul's acceptance essay in the Nov/Dec issue and an excerpt from RUST BELT BOY here.

Paul  hertneky

Publishers' Weekly: "... honest, insightful, and empathetic..."

Library Journal: "...thoughtful essays on the traditions of ethnicity, religion, and family..."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "An homage to a lost way of life... incantatory writing in... stories gloriously told."

Pittsburgh City Paper: "... The chapter on pierogies is... as vivid an example of food porn as you'll find."

The Keene Sentinel:  "A graceful accounting of a young life rich in its preservation of memory and its recall of loss."

The Hippo:  “a warm and elegant memoir… startlingly lovely at times, and deeply wise.”

Pittsburgh Quarterly: "deftly written... The physicality Hertneky invokes throughout the big-​hearted Rust Belt Boy, makes for a delicious descriptiveness..."

H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences Online: "Deserving more than one careful reading, Rust Belt Boy shines... an excellent choice for courses in literary nonfiction."

Bookconscious: "... a universal coming of age tale reflecting on the fifties, sixties and seventies in America...  a lovely read, interesting as a cultural and geographical story, as a memoir, and as a history of the aspirations of immigrants..."

The New Hampshire Union-Leader:  "A stellar memoir... a standout in a bloated genre"

New Pages: "His lyric voice brings beauty and clarity to the dirty and exhausting labors in a steel town."

The Los Angeles Review: "Particularly evocative writing...a local’s perspective, with the clarity that only distance can clarify"

Lynn (MA) Item: The first time Paul Hertneky saw the ocean it was a revelation. Those who have read his memoir have experienced a similar reaction.

Coal Hill Review: "The tone of the book feels conversational, and each essay flows together like a chat between friends, or like rivers winding, collecting bits of the shore, and converging gloriously at the point.

Rust Belt Boy News

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Public Readings and Appearances (open to all) :​

March 30, 2018, Rivers of Steel Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

March 28, 2018, California University of PA, California PA

Aug. 23, 2017, 7pm Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA

May 22, 2017, 6pm Cornelia St. Cafe, New York, NY

April 8, 2017, 1pm Carnegie Public Library-West End, Pittsburgh, PA

April 9, 2017, 12-2pm Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Cranberry, PA

Oct. 6, 2016, 7pm, reading, Dublin (NH) Community Center

Oct. 27, 2016, 7pm, reading, Nine Stories Booksellers, Pittsburgh, PA

Oct. 31, 2016, 7pm, Upper Ohio Valley Festival of Books, Wheeling, WV

Sept. 23, 2016, 6:30pm, reading, Mac's Backs, Cleveland, OH

​Sept. 22, 2016, 7pm, reading/discussion, Jefferson Educational Society, Erie, PA

​Sept. 21, 2016, 5:30pm, reading at Larkin Sq. Filling Station, Buffalo, NY

August 20, 2016, 11am, reading at Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH

July 30, 2016, 5pm, reading at Bookstock Literary Festival, Woodstock, VT

July 13, 2016, 5:30pm, reading at Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, NH

July 8, 2016, 5pm, interview on The Bookshelf, NH Public Radio

​June 9, 2016, 7pm, reading at Hancock Town Library, Hancock, NH
​June 8, 2016, 7pm, reading at Langley-Adams Library, Groveland, MA

June 1, 2016, Noon, Interview, The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC, New York, NY

​May 24, 2016, 7pm, reading at City Books, 908 Galveston Ave. Pittsburgh, PA

​May 23, 2016, 7pm, reading at Sewickley Public Library, Sewickley, PA

​May 21, 2016, 2:30 pm, reading at Laughlin Memorial Library, Ambridge, PA

​May 21, 2016, 12 noon, book signing at Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA

May 20, 2016, 6pm, LAUNCH DINNER, The Carlton Restaurant, Pittsburgh, PA

May 20, 2016, Noon, interview, Essential Pittsburgh, Public Radio WESA

May 18, 2016, Noon, reading at Barnes & Noble, The Villages, FL

May 17, 2016, 7pm, reading at Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA

​May 16, 2016, 6pm, reading at Fitzgerald's Pub, Charlotte, NC

May 9, 2016, 7pm, reading at The Irish Exit, 978 2nd Ave, New York, NY

May 7, 2016, 11 am, reading at Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH

May 5, 2016, 6pm, Keene Public Library, Keene, NH

To hear directly about dates and places, email me at