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Author Christopher Hebert discusses ‘Angels of Detroit’ and St. Louis' influence on the novel

Chris Hebert.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Angels of Detroit” is author Christopher Hebert’s second novel.  It delves into the fictional lives of those experiencing Detroit’s decline and redevelopment. 

Hebert joined St. Louis on the Air on Thursday to discuss the book and the parallels between Detroit and St. Louis. 

Hebert lived in St. Louis in 1998 after finishing college.

"It was brief but meaningful," Hebert said.

Hebert was living in Soulard, listening to the radio, when he heard some experts talking about turning downtown St. Louis into farmland. That idea stuck with him afterward.

During his younger years, Hebert inadvertently moved from city to city in the "Rust Belt," parts of the Northeast and Midwest which are characterized by declining industry and population. In each city, he heard the same idea echoed: turn underutilized downtown areas in declining cities into farmland.

When Hebert first encountered Detroit, he was shocked by the vast amount of decay and vacancy in the city. 

"My mind seeks to fill spaces that are now absent ... imagining what might have been," Hebert said.

Listen as Hebert discusses how his experience in Detroit and other Rust Belt cities informed his second novel, "Angels of Detroit:"

Related Event

What: Christopher Hebert Author Event at Left Bank Books
When: Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63108
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.

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