Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

eBook - 2017
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The end of retirement? -- On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald's vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others--including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May. In a secondhand vehicle she christens "Van Halen," Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy--one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable "Earthship" home, they have not given up hope.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.
ISBN: 9780393249323
Characteristics: 1 online resource (320 pages)


From Library Staff

Chicago Public Library recommends this title as one of the best books published in 2017.

Americans have always been fascinated by the romance and freedom of the road trip as portrayed in Kerouac's On the Road, Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways. This is not that book. Instead it is a realistic portrayal of Americans, many over the age of fif... Read More »

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Dec 01, 2017

Very, very interesting book. I had heard about people who needed to find "alternative" ways to live because they were near retirement age without a retirement income but had no idea how many people are living this way. This author took 3 years to write this book; she even tried out the lifestyle herself. There are many personal stories included and I imagine that there are many, many, more.
Some people have described feeling freed from rent/mortgage payments, utilities, etc. The author wrote this in as uplifting a manner as she possible could.
I feel like it is all wrong that after working their whole adult lives, saving money(in most cases), that they cannot afford a place to live except a rusting vehicle with bald tires which they HAVE to keep moving because it is illegal in many cities to sleep in said vehicle.
They cannot afford medical treatment, dental treatment, don't want to be a burden on adult children if they have them.
They do find friends on the road and help each other out and for that and the ability to enjoy the sunrise and sunset in different places along the road- they are thankful.

Oct 26, 2017

Comical, unlike other books on poverty related social issues I read earlier this year. It’s rather a joy for me to read and I can even find a lot practical information, plus the dark secret and back end of!
I share the same dream as Linda May - home Earthship in desert. I admire Bob Wells’ philosophical wisdom. There are also many other workampers and vandwellers, (selected to be in the book), who are witty and intelligent.
Dystopia? No, with all the hurdles out there, nomadland is the way up to Eutopia!

I may have missed the point and dwell on naivety - if so, would be book’s fault!


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