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Under Glass

The Girl with a Thousand Christmas Trees

by Jen Hirt

Pages: 174; Size: 6" x 9"
Series: Ohio History and Culture -- series
Imprint: Ringtaw Books

ISBN: 978-1-931968-73-7

Jacketed Hardcover, Price: $22.95

According to Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, when she went back to Ohio, her city was gone. For Jen Hirt, her Strongsville, Ohio greenhouses were gone. Her ancestry, bloodlines, memories, and her complete identity were replaced by a large-chain pharmacy store. Four generations taken away by the wrecking ball; fourteen greenhouses dismantled and shattered.

Under Glass traces the rise and fall of the family business and the family itself. Hirt is the girl with a thousand Christmas trees, growing up surrounded by life and vitality. She is the greenhouse filled with hope and growth. Then the rubble sets in—financial pressures, a brutal divorce, and the literal demolition of her past.

This story is Hirt’s memoir, told with poignancy and honesty. As honest as the greenhouse tattoo she has on her arm. As true as love turning into despair. As genuine as the modern rebirth of the family business, not at the center of town, but smaller and internet-based. For Hirt, the greenhouse metaphor, in its richness, is the soul of America and her life.

Podcast review of Under Glass

About the author

Jen Hirt

Jen Hirt is an instructor in humanities and English at Penn State Harrisburg. A native of Ohio, she lived in Idaho from 2001–2006, where she completed her MFA in creative writing at the University of Idaho. Her work has appeared in The Heartlands Today, The Briar Cliff Review, Touchstone, and Flyway. She won a Pushcart Prize for "Lores of Last Unicorns," which appeared in the Winter 2009 Gettysburg Review. Ms. Hirt also works as a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader.

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