Lost In Summerland: Essays

Lost In Summerland: Essays

by Barrett Swanson

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Overview

Barrett Swanson embarks on a personal quest across the United States to uncover what it means to be an American amid the swirl of our post-truth climate in this collection of critically acclaimed essays and reportage.

A trip with his brother to a New York psychic community becomes a rollicking tour through the world of American spiritualism. At a wilderness retreat in Ohio, men seek a cure for toxic masculinity, while in the hinterlands of Wisconsin, antiwar veterans turn to farming when they cannot sustain the heroic myth of service. And when his best friend’s body washes up on the shores of the Mississippi River, he falls into the gullet of true crime discussion boards, exploring the stamina of conspiracy theories along the cankered byways of the Midwest.

In this exhilarating debut, Barrett Swanson introduces us to a new reality. At a moment when grand unifying narratives have splintered into competing storylines, these critically acclaimed essays document the many routes by which people are struggling to find stability in the aftermath of our country’s political and economic collapse, sometimes at dire and disillusioning costs.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640094185
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 05/18/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 274,000
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Barrett Swanson's essays have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Believer, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atavist, among other publications. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and has been anthologized in two editions of The Best American Travel Writing. He was the Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and he and his wife live in Madison, Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

Notes from a Last Man 3

Consciousness Razing 25

Okay Forever 52

The Soldier and the Soil 78

Midwestern Gothic 105

Prophet of the Swamp 121

Calling Audibles 145

Flood Myths 170

Letter from a Target-Rich Environment 179

Starving 192

Political Fictions 201

Lost in Summerland 212

Disaster City 240

Church Not Made with Hands 267

Acknowledgments 287

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