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Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

by Jessica Bruder
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

by Jessica Bruder


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Notes From Your Bookseller

As a Barnes & Noble Discover Award winner, a personal favorite, and now a movie starring Frances McDormand—we strongly encourage you to read this book. It is a brilliant work; enveloping, profound and magical, a road trip through a world of RV-living itinerant roamers—nomads—looking for seasonal work. Nomadland is the result of Bruder's traveling for three years in the company of these very hard-working, remarkably resilient people. A beguiling narrative and eye-opening to say the least.

The inspiration for Chloé Zhao's celebrated film starring Frances McDormand, winner of the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress
March and April pick for the PBS Newshour-New York Times "Now Read This" Book Club
New York Times bestseller

"People who thought the 2008 financial collapse was over a long time ago need to meet the people Jessica Bruder got to know in this scorching, beautifully written, vivid, disturbing (and occasionally wryly funny) book." —Rebecca Solnit


From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393356311
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 52,230
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jessica Bruder is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on subcultures and the dark corners of the economy. She has written for Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Bruder teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Part 1

1 The Squeeze Inn 3

2 The End 29

3 Surviving America 39

4 Escape Plan 69

Part 2

5 Amazon Town 95

6 The Gathering Place 115

7 The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous 135

8 Halen 163

9 Some Unbeetable Experiences 183

Part 3

10 The H Word 201

11 Homecoming 207

Coda: The Octopus in the Coconut 243

Acknowledgments 253

Notes 257

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