Welcome to my little house on the Internet prairie.
How far would you go to help a friend? I unknowingly received the entire contents of the leaked Snowden archive....
Dale Maharidge and I recounted the buddy-film-meets-spy-thriller in the May issue of Harper's.
This book continues the adventure that began three years ago with a story for Harper's magazine on older traveling workers. After more than 15,000 miles of driving a van named Halen–and hundreds of interviews with incredible people who were generous enough to share their stories–I’m ecstatic that this long-term labor of love is finally setting out on the road.
An early endorsement just came in from my hero Ted Conover, the author of Rolling Nowhere, Coyotes, Newjack and Immersion:
"The campsite as the home of last resort, the RV used not for vacation but for survival: these are the makings of a new dystopia. But Jessica Bruder's smart book is full of 'workampers' aiming to look on the bright side, even as America pulls the rug out from under them. Her tribe of elderly seasonal workers turn desolate desert into a reunion spot; they share and find family in each other. Bruder has put herself out there and made their struggle personal. Nomadland is a road book for the new old age, full of nice manners and dark portent."
The publisher writes:
“Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of both the economy's dark underbelly and the extraordinary resilience, creativity, and hope of these hardworking, quintessential Americans–many of them single women–who have traded rootedness for the dream of a better life.”
With Halen, the van. (photo by SwankieWheels)
Apologies for the long silence... apart from teaching, I've been on the road! I'm in the final stages of writing and reporting a book called NOMADLAND on itinerant Americans. (The book grew out of my earlier magazine story, "The End of Retirement: When You Can't Afford to Stop Working, which appeared on the cover of Harper's and won an Aronson Award. It was also a finalist for a Deadline Club Award.)
NOMADLAND will be published in Fall 2017 by W.W. Norton &. Co.
I am deeply grateful that I get to continue this kind of immersive storytelling.
The mothership -- aka Columbia Journalism School -- ran a Q&A about the project (along with my stumbles, en route and ongoing). Check it out here: