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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.