Glenna Lang is the author of a previous work about Jane Jacobs—Genius of Common Sense: The Story of Jane Jacobs and “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” It aimed to inspire young adults but appealed to all ages in the general public and universities. Both the New York Times and Smithsonian magazine chose it as a 2009 Notable Book. As an illustrator, Lang produced four classic poems as picture books for children with David R. Godine, Publisher. She wrote and illustrated Looking Out for Sarah, about a day in the life of a seeing-eye dog, which won the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Award for the book that best portrays the disability experience. Although she grew up mainly in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens in New York City, she has lived for many years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, now part of Tufts University. She has loved spending time in Scranton in her quest to understand the place and period that spawned Jane Jacobs’s world-changing books.

Photo of Glenna Lang, a white woman with brown hair pulled into a bun.

The author extends special thanks for support of this book to the Center for the Living City and its contributors, without whom this book might not have come to its full fruition. She also owes much gratitude to Jane’s family members and to Scranton’s institutions and its people – some of whom are pictured below – whose archives, memories, and generosity of spirit provided a treasure trove of material. Thanks, above all, to Jane Butzner Jacobs for her observations and ruminations and for pointing us to her cherished living urban laboratory.

You can reach Glenna at lang.glenna (at) gmail.com.

Portrait of Marie Van Bergen Mansuy
Marie Van Bergen Mansuy
Portrait of Kay Schoen Butzner
Kay Schoen Butzner
Portrait of Dorothy Walker Smith
Dorothy Walker Smith
Entrance to Albright Library, where author Glenna Lang conducted research.
Entrance to Albright Library, where the author spent many wonderful hours. Scranton Public Library.