In addition to offering a fictionalized portrayal of one of Buffalo’s mayors and of big city machine politics in the 1960s and early 1970s, I wrote “The Seventh Generation” to explore the emotional disruptions people and families experience when a community is downsized.
I also wrote “The Seventh Generation” because some cities of the nation’s old industrial heartland, are emerging as strong survivors. Over the past 18 months I’ve seen, first-hand, the signs of major rebirth in Detroit, Cleveland, and my native Buffalo. It’s an inspiring story.
Four great people movements have helped to define America: The westward expansion of the 18th and 19th centuries; the forced migration of Native Americans onto reservations in the 19th century; the movement of African Americans from the southeastern US to the northern industrial cities in the first half of the 20th century; and the exodus of millions of Americans from those very same cities to the South and West in the second half of the 20th Century. This fourth migration is under-represented in American literature. “The Seventh Generation” examines this fourth migration, while also touching upon the Native American and African-American migrations that came earlier.