“‘The dead are attached to the living, and those who have lost them are attached to the dead.'” – Ghosts of the Tsunami, by Richard Lloyd Parry

February 25, 2018 at 11:48 pm (Book review, books)

  This is a gracious and compassionate book on an extremely painful subject.

In March of 2011, a tsunami struck the Pacific coast of Japan. It was was preceded by an temblor that registered 9.0 on the Richter Scale. Known as the Tohoku Earthquake, its epicenter was situated off the country’s coast. Its effects were certainly felt and damage was done, but worse – much worse – was to come.

Most of the reporting on this calamity concentrated on the earthquake damage sustained by the nuclear power plants located in Fukushima Prefecture. There was plenty to worry about on that score. Yet that was only a small portion of the toll exacted by a series of catastrophic events.

About an hour and forty minutes after the earthquake struck, a tsunami hurled itself inland.This paragraph from Parry’s book is a succinct, horrifying summation of what happened as a result:

It was the biggest earthquake ever known to have struck Japan,and the fourth most powerful in the history of seismology. It knocked the earth ten inches off its axis; it moved Japan four feet closer to America.In the tsunami that followed, 18,500 people were drowned, burned, or crushed to death. at its peak, the water was 120 feet high. Half a million people were driven out of their homes. Three reactors in the Fukushima Dai-ichi power station melted down, spilling their radioactivity across the countryside, the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The earthquake and tsunami caused more than $210 billion of damage, making it the most costly natural disaster ever.

Parry’s book focuses on the fate of the teachers and the children at Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. An evacuation plan existed; it was spelled out in the pages of a notebook. But those charged with implementing it succumbed to uncertainty and confusion. In the end, they waited too long.

Writing about extreme grief from the outside is a very difficult thing to do. By exercising great empathy and sensitivity, Richard Lloyd Parry is able to accomplish this – but only just. In many cases, he allows the bereaved to speak for themselves, when they can and if they are able to.(At the time of these events, he and his wife were expecting their second child.)

He was also able to extract, from a welter of eyewitness testimony, some extraordinary stories. In one case, he describes the experience of Teruo Konno. Konno had been aiding in the effort to recover bodies from the midst of the destruction when he himself was suddenly engulfed by the wave. Through the expenditure of every every ounce of his strength and resourcefulness, and with a large dollop of luck thrown in, Konno was able to survive an incredibly harrowing ordeal. As soon as he had sufficiently recovered, he went back to helping the living in their effort to unearth the newly deceased.

They were dreadful, crushing tasks, even for one who had not gone through such an experience. But Konno found that it had left him with an indifference to mental hardship, and an absence of trepidation of any kind. He had no fear, of life or of death. He was like a man who had suffered a dangerous disease, to survive with complete immunity to future infection. The prospect of his own extinction–now, soon, or far in the future–was a matter to him of no concern at all.

In the aftermath of the tsunami, there were some strange manifestations. In some cases, survivors seemed possessed by the incorporeal presence of the dead. In others, it seemed as though ghosts were dwelling, albeit briefly, among the living:

At a refugee community in Onagawa, an old neighbor would appear in the living rooms of the temporary houses and sit down for a cup of tea with their startled occupants. No one had the heart to tell her that she was dead; the cushion on which she had sat was wet with seawater.

This narrative gets its driving force from the bitter recriminations in the aftermath of the failure to save the children at Okawa Elementary School. A suit was filed, and ultimately the city of Ishinomaki and Miyagi Prefecture were ordered to pay substantial damages to  the bereaved families who had participated as plaintiffs in the action. The courtroom confrontation was aimed more at ascertaining the truth rather than obtaining a large payout (although many survivors were in desperate need of assistance). The terrible pain of the loss, however, could not be assuaged in this way – or in any way.

The true mystery of Okawa School was the one we all face. No mind can encompass it; consciousness recoils in panic. The idea of conspiracy is what we supply to make sense of what will never be sensible–the fiery fact of death.


Born in northern England in 1969 and a graduate of Oxford, Richard Lloyd Parry is now the Asia editor of The Times of London. He has lived and worked in Tokyo since 1995. He is also the author of People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo–and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up. This was a riveting read.

Towards the conclusion of Ghosts of the Tsunami, Parry pays tribute to the people among whom he has had the privilege of living for over two decades:

There were many terrible and fearful scenes, and bottomless pain, but the horror was offset, and almost eclipsed, by  the resilience and decency of the victims. It seemed to me at the time that this was the best of Japan, the best of humanity, one of the things I loved and admired most about this country: the practical, unsensational, irrepressible strength of communities.

Richard Lloyd Parry



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A (somewhat different) Passage To India: The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey

February 21, 2018 at 2:31 pm (Book review, books, Mystery fiction)

  This is a novel that succeeds on several levels: as an examination of a particular culture at a specific moment; as the narrative of a complex mystery that unfolds in the context of that culture; and finally, as a look into the heart of a vibrant, intelligent, and vulnerable young woman.

In post World War One India, Perveen Mistry aspires to be an attorney. She has before  her the example of her father Jamshedji. He is a superb lawyer of upright character and unquestioned integrity; moreover, he is devoted to Perveen and fiercely protective of her. He  would like nothing more than for her to join him in his legal practice. But they both must figuratively walk through fire before realizing this goal.

I knew almost nothing about India during this period, so reading this novel was a learning experience for me. I didn’t realize what a rich mixture of ethnic origins and creeds the country was at that time. (Perveen and her family are part of the Parsi minority dwelling in Bombay at that time.) It should be emphasized, though, that Massey wears her erudition lightly. There’s no dry academic tone here; rather,  aspects of the different cultures are presented in service to the narrative and to the characters and their often turbulent lives.

Perveen Mistry is a wonderful creation. For me as a reader, she came along at just the right moment. I was beginning to tire of the trope in which the Plucky and Resourceful Female takes on big challenges and, by means of unwavering determination and perseverance, surmounts them (with little, if any, material assistance from nearby males.) Perveen does waver; she’s not absolutely sure of herself at every turn, and she readily acknowledges her mistakes. Ultimately, she prevails, both personally and professionally, through a combination of her own native courage and the unwavering support of friends and family.

Sujata Massey appends the following information in her Acknowledgments pages:

Perveen Mistry was inspired by India’s earliest women lawyers: Cornelia Sorabji of Poona, the first woman to read law at Oxford and the first woman to sit the British law  exam in 1892, and Mithan Tata Lam of Bombay, who also read law at Oxford and was the first woman admitted to  the Bombay Bar in 1923.

Some readers might feel that there is too much time spent on Perveen’s personal life and not enough on the actual mystery. For this reader, the former was substantially more compelling than the latter. When the novel begins, a complex legal situation has already presented itself and is made yet more complicated by  murder. The cast of characters is large and diverse. Add to all of this, it’s difficult to care about the victim. But from the outset, I was so enthralled by Perveen herself that I was glad to remain on board for the privilege of being in her company.

One other caveat about The Widows of Malabar Hill: it jumps back and forth in time. This can be disconcerting. It is almost always my preference that a fictional narrative adhere to a strict chronology. If it was good enough for Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope, it should be good enough for other novelists as well. (Not that I have definite opinions on this subject!)

That said, I consider these reservations to be minor. I still loved this book and recommend it highly.

I confess that when I learned the name of this protagonist, and that of Mistry Law, the firm headed by her father, I was reminded of the novel A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I read this novel shortly after it came out in 1996. It is without doubt one of the most moving and powerful works of fiction I have ever encountered.

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Giorgio Vasari and Michelangelo Buonarroti

February 18, 2018 at 1:45 pm (Art, Italy, Music)

  I feel as though The Collector of Lives were written just for me. Admittedly, it is a rather specialized narrative, concentrating as it does on the work of the great Giorgio Vasari and the Italian painters of the Renaissance whom he celebrates in his magnum opus, Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. (‘Excellent’ is sometimes rendered as ‘Eminent.’)

Amazingly, there were those who practiced more than one of these arts – in some cases, with a varying degree of proficiency, all three. Vasari himself was proficient both as a painter and an architect; it was he who designed the Uffizi, now Florence’s preeminent art museum. Add to which, of course, he was an extremely skilled writer. By means of this one book,  he legitimized art history as a field of study. He was helped in this endeavor by  he fact that he knew personally a good number of the artists whose lives and works he describes in such a lively and engaging manner.

(Vasari’s book is sometimes referred to simply as The Lives. You will see it occasionally called in Italian  Vite – pronounced ‘veetay.’)

The cover of The Collector of Lives features a detail from St. Luke Painting the Virgin by Vasari; it dates from about 1565. My copy of Vasari’s book has the same work on its cover:   Here is the actual painting:

I often see comments to the effect that while Vasari achieved greatness through his writing, he was not quite great as a painter. I find this airy dismissal rather unwarranted. True, in his era he was up against some incredibly gifted artists; nevertheless, I find his own work singularly compelling.

Vasari’s own hero in the arts was unquestionably Michelangelo. Many of us are familiar with Michelangelo’s most famous creations, but I think, especially in this age of anguish in which we now seem to dwell, it might do us good to look at them again:

The Sistine Chapel









It would be impossible for any craftsman or sculptor no matter how brilliant ever to surpass the grace or design of this work or try to cut and polish the marble with the skill that Michelangelo displayed. For the Pietà was a revelation of all the potentialities and force of the art of sculpture. Among the many beautiful features (including the inspired draperies) this is notably demonstrated by the body of Christ itself. It would be impossible to find a body showing greater mastery of art and possessing more beautiful members, or a nude with more detail in the muscles, veins, and nerves stretched over their framework of bones, or a more deathly corpse. The lovely expression of the head, the harmony in the joints and attachments of the arms, legs, and trunk, and the fine tracery of pulses and veins are all so wonderful that it staggers belief that the hand of an artist could have executed this inspired and admirable work so perfectly and in so short a time. It is certainly a miracle that a formless block of stone could ever have been reduced to a perfection that nature is scarcely able to create in the flesh.

Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists



The legs are skilfully outlined, the slender flanks are beautifully shaped and the limbs are joined faultlessly to the trunk. The grace of this figure and the serenity of its pose have never been surpassed, nor have the feet, the hands, and the head, whose harmonious proportions and loveliness are in keeping with the rest. To be sure, anyone who has seen Michelangelo’s David has no need to see anything else by any other sculptor, living or dead.

Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists

I only found out recently that Michelangelo was also a poet:

“When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistine Chapel” (1509)

I’ve already grown a goiter from this torture,
hunched up here like a cat in Lombardy
(or anywhere else where the stagnant water’s poison).
My stomach’s squashed under my chin, my beard’s
pointing at heaven, my brain’s crushed in a casket,
my breast twists like a harpy’s. My brush,
above me all the time, dribbles paint
so my face makes a fine floor for droppings!

My haunches are grinding into my guts,
my poor ass strains to work as a counterweight,
every gesture I make is blind and aimless.
My skin hangs loose below me, my spine’s
all knotted from folding over itself.
I’m bent taut as a Syrian bow.

Because I’m stuck like this, my thoughts
are crazy, perfidious tripe:
anyone shoots badly through a crooked blowpipe.

My painting is dead.
Defend it for me, Giovanni, protect my honor.
I am not in the right place—I am not a painter.

Just in case you thought painting that ceiling was in any way an easy undertaking….

Michelangelo also wrote poems of a more lyrical nature, such as this one in praise of the author of The Divine Comedy:


What should be said of him cannot be said;
By too great splendor is his name attended;
To blame is easier than those who him offended,
Than reach the faintest glory round him shed.
This man descended to the doomed and dead
For our instruction; then to God ascended;
Heaven opened wide to him its portals splendid,
Who from his country’s, closed against him, fled.
Ungrateful land! To its own prejudice
Nurse of his fortunes; and this showeth well
That the most perfect most of grief shall see.
Among a thousand proofs let one suffice,
That as his exile hath no parallel,
Ne’er walked the earth a greater man than he.
Translated into English by H.W. Longfellow (1807-1882).

More poetry by Michelangelo can be found at the Michelangelo Gallery.

In The Collector of Lives, Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney offer this assessment:

There are many bones one can pick with Vasari, but he makes a persuasive argument for his candidate as the “greatest” artist in history. To this day, Michelangelo Buonarroti seems a reasonable choice as Giorgio’s ultimate hero.

There are many other genius artists of the Italian Renaissance whom Vasari admired and wrote about. I’ll return to these in a later post.

A hundred years after Michelangelo, Gregorio Allegri composed the Miserere Mei, Deus expressly to be sung in the Sistine Chapel during Holy Week. Here, it is performed by the King’s College Choir in their magnificent Chapel.

British art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon has made a two part film about Giorgio Vasari:








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A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen, read by Graeme Malcolm

February 13, 2018 at 6:18 pm (Book review, books, Mystery fiction)

  Many things interrupted my getting through this recorded book. (I do my listening only in the car.) But I finally finished a couple of days ago. The experience has not quite left me.

A Conspiracy of Faith by Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen is basically a story of revenge. A man who was brought up by a despotic father according to the tenets of a rigid creed decides to take out out his anger and resentment on other religious families. Most of these people are blameless and quite unlike his own family of origin. That doesn’t matter to him. He works out a system where he gets close to them and then betrays them in the cruelest way imaginable.  Equally frightening is the fact that he has a wife and a young child. He seems devoted to them, at least on the surface.

A Conspiracy of Faith is the third novel in the Department Q series. The name comes from the place to which Detective Carl Mørck and his team have been exiled: the police station’s basement. It’s about as inhospitable as it sounds. Mørck’s second-in-command is Assad, Syrian born but now a resident of Denmark, which, in his exasperation with the climate, he calls “this refrigerator country!” Assad was not even a trained officer when he was first assigned to Department Q. But in the event, he turns out to be a gifted detective. (He has to provide proofs of this gift, in order to counter Carl’s initial skepticism.) In this novel, Assad’s resourcefulness proves nothing less than crucial in solving this terrible mystery. At one point, after he has unearthed several vital but hidden clues, Carl at last gives way to feelings of amazement:

And then he looked up at Assad in disbelief. What the hell would he do without him?

Assad may be brilliant in his way, but he does not have the native knowledge of Danish ways and the Danish people that Carl possesses by right. He is at the same time both astute and naive, sometimes touchingly so. He’s a wonderful character, in my view, an inspired creation.

And this is probably the right moment to praise Graeme Malcolm’s outstanding narration. Malcolm, a Scottish actor, gets it exactly right in his reading of this novel. He’s especially good at rendering Assad’s lines in an utterly convincing manner.

I read the first entry in Department Q series, The Keeper of Lost Causes, shortly after it came out here in 2011. I was seriously impressed by Adler-Olsen’s storytelling gifts, yet I have to say also that the novel approached the extremity of the violence that I’m able to tolerate in crime fiction. Still, I found myself wanting to revisit the characters and the milieu they inhabit. Hence, my decision to listen to A Conspiracy of Faith. (I had previously encountered Graeme Malcolm as a reader of M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth novels, so I already knew how good a narrator he was.)

Incidentally, there exists some confusion regarding the titles of the Department Q novels. There are currently seven in the series; the first four were released with different titles here and in the UK.  (The latest one, The Scarred Woman, also has a variant title.) Your best bet is to view the listing on StopYoureKillingMe.com.

The first three novels have been made into films. Trailers can be viewed on YouTube. I confess I’m wary of them, but of course you can decide for yourself.

A few more words on A Conspiracy of Faith. You will note that I’ve not identified the perpetrator by name. In the course of the novel, he goes by several of them: Mads Christian Fog, Lars Sorensen, Mikkel Laust. He’s extremely slippery, I almost want to say slithery. One of the most thoroughly cunning and evil humans I have ever encountered in fiction.

Finally I’d like to make this observation. I’ve read many mysteries in which the ending was, for one reason or another, a disappointment. (That actually goes for ‘literary fiction’ as well.) A Conspiracy of Faith concluded beautifully – a very moving ending that to me, seemed exactly apt.

Jussi Adler-Olsen


Graeme Malcolm


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Haunted by the genius of Hugo van der Goes

February 7, 2018 at 6:51 pm (Art)

It’s hard not to be, once you know his story. But first, several of his works:

Portinari Altarpiece, open c. 1475


Portinari Altarpiece, closed (This style painting, which imitates the qualities of sculpture, is termed grisaille.)


Death of the Virgin c. 1472-80


The Fall, 1480. (I find that conniving reptile with the human head profoundly unnerving.)

Hugo van der Goes (pronounced ‘hooss,’ with the ‘h’ being guttural) was born in or around Ghent, in present-day Belgium, in or around the year 1440. As with many of the artists of this early period of the Northern Renaissance, little is known of his childhood. It’s known that he became a master in the painters’ guild of Ghent in 1467. (Bless these good people for keeping such meticulous records.)

By 1477, van der Goes had achieved considerable success. Nevertheless, in that year he closed down his workshop with a view to entering the Roode Klooster, or Red Cloister. He had been living there for five years when the brothers of this monastery sent him, along with his half-brother and another monk of the order, to Cologne. On the return trip, he suffered a breakdown, declaring himself to be damned and attempting suicide. He was conveyed back to the Roode Klooster, where he experienced a brief recovery before dying in that same year, 1482.

Knowledge of this turn taken in van der Goes’s life became lost in obscurity until it was rediscovered by Belgian historian Alphonse Wauters in 1863. Wauters’s nephew Emile made a painting on the subject in 1872. That work of art in turn made a profound impression on Vincent van Gogh.

Here’s more detailed recounting:

In 1863, the Belgian historian Alphonse Wauters published a startling revelation: that the great Ghent painter Hugo van der Goes had experienced a disastrous episode of insanity around 1480. This information was discovered by Wauters in “The Chronicle of the Red Cloister,” written by Gaspar Ofhuys, prior of the monastery in the early sixteenth century. Ofhuys had known van der Goes personally, having taken vows at the same time as the painter.

According to the chronicler, Hugo van der Goes became demented while returning from a trip to Cologne with a party of fellow monks. Shortly before reaching Brussels, Hugo, without any prior signs of distress, suddenly erupted. He insisted that he was a lost soul, that he was doomed to perdition, and tried to commit suicide. His brothers had to forcibly restrain him from violently taking his life. When the travellers finally attained Brussels, treatment for Hugo was ready. The prior of the Red Cloister had arranged for the appropriate remedies– music therapy and performances. Unfortunately, these proved ineffective and van der Goes returned to the Red Cloister incapacitated. Remission occurred some time after his return but we do not know whether it was complete. About a year after this incident the artist was dead.

Wauters’ remarkable discovery did not have any immediate impact upon historians but it did impress painters. Emile Wauters, Alphonse’s nephew, caused a sensation in 1872 with his painting of Hugo van der Goes Undergoing Treatment at the Red Cloister. And as early as 1873  Vincent van Gogh referred to this painting in a letter to his brother Theo. On at least two further occasions the Dutch artist likened his own appearance to that of Hugo’s as recreated by Wauters, and identified emotionally with the fifteenth–century painter.

From a 1978 paper presented  By Susan Koslow

Here is the painting by Emile Wauters:

It’s my understanding that this is a depiction of an effort to ameliorate van der Goes’s suffering with music.

The Portinari Altarpiece is widely considered to be Hugo van der Goes’s masterpiece. It can be studied in its particulars while still inspiring wonder as a whole. At some point I was alerted to the presence of a dragon-like creature in the right hand panel. I had trouble focusing on it at first. It’s directly below Saint Margaret, who wears the red robe. The dragon is, in fact, her attribute. Attributes are objects that are depicted along with a particular saint, in order to specify his or identity. (Think of Saint Catherine and the wheel.)

Apparently several versions of Saint Margaret’s story exist. In one, she is swallowed by a dragon, but once inside the beast, she makes the sign of the cross; this causes the dragon to burst asunder. In another, somewhat less drastic retelling by Voragine in The Golden Legend, the dragon rushes toward Saint Margaret, but when she makes the sign of the cross, it vanishes.

I cannot thank Professor Catherine B. Scallen enough for her enormously enriching work on two Great Courses DVD sets: Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London; and Art of the Northern Renaissance.   Ron and I have now watched both of them twice. We fervently wish that Professor Scallen would make more of these.



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

February 5, 2018 at 9:02 pm (Book review, books)

  This is not the kind of book I would ordinarily choose to read. My preference in nonfiction is for history, biography, and the arts: fact-rich tomes written in an accessible style. But the reviews of  Jessica Bruder’s Nomadland piqued my interest. And I found that once I started it, I didn’t want to put it down.

The eponymous nomads are, for the most part, retirees in their sixties and seventies who are having trouble making ends meet. So, in the time honored American tradition, they’ve hit the road.

Bruder spends a lot of time describing the ways and means by which this is done. Van dwellers predominate, but there are  some lucky enough to have procured regulation RV’s of various sizes. And there are some who are living in much smaller cramped quarters. The ways in which people are able to procure electricity and arrange plumbing – sometimes barely adequately – testify to their entirely admirable ingenuity. Their lives are testimony to the ability to make do  with less.

It turns out that there are work opportunities for these folks, most of whom still have the requisite strength and determination. They can be camp hosts at RV campgrounds. These are multifaceted jobs involving registering parties of campers, seeing to their safety and comfort, keeping the peace when necessary, and cleaning the facilities – yes, that includes toilets.

They can be part of Amazon’s CamperForce. These jobs ramp up seriously as Christmas approaches:

The Amazon CamperForce program brings together a community of enthusiastic RV’ers who help make the holidays bright for customers of Amazon.com. As a CamperForce Associate, you’ll begin this seasonal assignment in early Fall and work until December 23rd.

The program lasts 3-4 months in the winter, and your responsibilities will be in the areas of picking, packing, stowing, and receiving.

Some who are enthusiasts or creative types try selling their wares at gatherings like the fabled Rubber Tramp Rendezvous held – up until this year, at least – in Quartzsite, Arizona.  There are any number of ways to make money.   “Workampers” are endlessly resourceful; they have to be.

Rubber Tramp Rendezvous was founded by Bob Wells, whose site, CheapRVLiving, offers tips, encouragement, and helpful information to fellow van dwellers.   It also features an illuminating section on the philosophy that underpins the way of life that he and others have chosen to follow. Wells has in fact written a book on the subject:

Vandwellers – seemingly an umbrella term for all those inhabiting some kind of mobile living space – are sensitive about how they’re perceived by others.

In his book, Bob Wells draws a bright line between vandwellers and the homeless. He suggests vandwellers are conscientious objectors from a broken, corrupting social order. Whether or not they chose their lifestyle, they have embraced it.

Although Bruder encounters her fair share of hard luck stories, the vandwellers do seem to be by and large a cheerful lot, and not necessarily as ideologically motivated as the above passage might  suggest. Several people did state that they prefer to see themselves as “houseless” rather than “homeless.”

Bruder eventually comes to believe that she needs to get inside this subculture to fully understand it. So she buys a van and gets a gig at CamperForce. One of the first priorities Bruder needed to satisfy was the naming her newly acquired vehicle. Vandwellers all do  this, and they try to be creative about it:

In my encounters with vandwellers I’d already met Vansion, Van Go, DonoVan, Vantucket, and Vann White–this was a pun-happy subculture.

Her own final choice was ‘Halen.’ I had to ponder this for a couple of minutes before the nickel dropped.

Van Halen the rock group


Van Halen the van, with the author atop

Naturally, I was interested to know what reading matter was favored by the vandwellers. Here are some of the titles mentioned in the book:


I’ve read Woodswoman by Anne LaBastille and loved it. This is a book that more people need to know about. And I was really pleased to know that people were reading Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey’s paean to the glorious Southwest. Last month, in an article in the New York Times Book Review, historian Douglas Brinkley sang its praises and urged President Donald Trump to read it.

Bruder’s narrative is framed by the presence one particular vandweller whom she comes to know well. This is Linda May, 63. Linda’s story is very engrossing; through her eyes, we get to know other members of this set, and to participate in what is a surprisingly lively social scene. (There are some individuals who self-identify as introverts and tend to camp a bit distantly from the group. No matter – if they need help, it will be there quickly.)

Linda’s ultimate aspiration is to build herself an Earthship House and retire from workamping.. I really want this dream to come true for her.

Linda May and Coco

Jessica Bruder’s writing is lively and engaging. I fairly zipped through Nomadland. At 251 pages, it’s a fast read, but I was sorry when it was over.

Highly recommended.

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