You are here

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
On hand as of Aug 10 7:45pm
(Social Science)

Staff Reviews

Untold numbers of poor Americans, many of them seniors, are now living in run-down vans and campers, bunking at one week and out public campgrounds, Walmart parking lots, and even suburban streets. White vans are their camouflage. Often the consequence of bad investments and foreclosures, or ill-considered loans to family members, there is nothing romantic about this life on the road. Author Bruder gets to know and travel with people who do seasonal work in Amazon warehouses (branded "CamperForce"), and the privatized and poorly paid campground jobs at state parks. She even takes a job with migrant farm workers processing sugar beets: it's just as bad as you expect it to be. Bruder's subjects don't whine. They share their skills for cutting hair, small space cooking, and solar power collection.  Still, you can only imagine what the people who wouldn't talk to the author might have to say. Both disturbing and uplifting--these "workampers" are resourceful in a country that has given them less than they are owed. 


— From Carla's Picks


“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 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 adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.

Soon to be a major motion picture.

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.

Praise For…

A remarkable book of immersive reporting.…Bruder is an acute and compassionate observer.
— Margaret Talbot

This is an important book.… A calmly stated chronicle of devastation. But told as story after story, it is also a riveting collection of tales about irresistible people—quirky, valiant people who deserve respect and a decent life.
— Louise Erdrich, author of Future Home of the Living God and The Round House

Bruder is a poised and graceful writer.
— Parul Sehgal

[A] devastating, revelatory book.
— Timothy R. Smith

A first-rate piece of immersive journalism.

Stirring reportage.

At once wonderfully humane and deeply troubling, the book offers an eye-opening tour of the increasingly unequal, unstable, and insecure future our country is racing toward.
— Astra Taylor

Some readers will come because they’re enamored of road narratives, but Bruder’s study should be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of work, community, and retirement.
— Peter C. Baker

Important, eye-opening journalism.
— Kim Ode

Bruder tells [this] story with gripping insight, detail and candor. In the hands of a fine writer, this is a terrific profile of a subculture that gets little attention, or is treated by the media as a quirky hobby, rather than a survival strategy.
— Peter Simon
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393356311
ISBN-10: 0393356310
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Pages: 288
Language: English