Rivers. Steel. Neighborhoods. Industry. Art. Football. Can words explain a city like Pittsburgh, with its rich history, complicated geography and diverse communities? Over the years, countless writers—who grew up in Pittsburgh, moved here or were just passing through—have taken up the challenge. Many wrote with love; some, with faint praise. (Will the city ever live down being compared in 1868, by journalist James Parton, to "hell with the lid taken off"?) Now, in celebration of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary, we've invited seven writers to tell new stories about the city and its people. The resulting collection—CNF's first devoted entirely to its hometown as a subject—contains memories of teenage trips and family businesses, tales of immersion into unfamiliar communities and accounts of early mornings on the river, as well as thoughts about what it all means. One thing's for sure—it's more than just words.
Read the stories in their entireity in the "Excerpts" section below.