Colby Buzzell has always been a loner. An autodidact who never went to college, he was dubbed "the voice of a generation" by Robert Kurson for his daring and critically acclaimed book, My War: Killing Time in Iraq. Half a decade later, overwhelmed by the birth of his son and the death of his mother, Buzzell finds himself rudderless. Desperate to escape the constraints of his postwar existence, he packs his things, gets in the car, and, for five months, drives across America--no map, no destination.
In his 1964 Mercury Comet, Buzzell travels through the bowels of a country steeped in economic turmoil and political malaise. With a bottle of whisky in one hand and a pack of cigarettes in the other, he takes us on a tour of big-box stores, grimy gas stations, abandoned warehouses, strip clubs, and flophouses. He captures the distinct voices and vivid stories of a forgotten America--Cheyenne, Omaha, Salt Lake City, Des Moines, Detroit, and San Francisco's Tenderloin. Buzzell unearths America's bones in all their beauty and starkness. And like the veterans of Hemingway's Lost Generation, he struggles to reconcile his wanderlust with his responsibilities as a man and a father.
Lost in America is a stunning account of the ravages of war on one individual. It also reveals deep truths about a more universal journey: the struggle to find our place in the world--without a map.
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A stunning portrait of modern America by Colby Buzzell, the critically acclaimed author of My War: Killing Time in Iraq. Recounting his five-month journey through the country, from its thriving coastlines to its rust-belt wrecks, Buzzell reveals a paradoxical landscape of American dreams both achieved and broken, manifest destinies claimed and refuted, and community ties pulled apart and patched together. In the tradition of John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, Buzzell's Lost in America uncovers the stark realities of our national character even as it explores the deepest questions of identity, unity, and fatherhood.About the Author:
Colby Buzzell is the author of My War: Killing Time in Iraq and served as an infantryman in the United States Army during the Iraq War. Assigned to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team in 2003, Buzzell blogged from the front lines of Iraq as a replacement for his habitual journaling back in the states. In 2004 Buzzell was profiled in Esquire’s “Best and Brightest” issue and has since contributed frequently to the magazine. The Washington Post referred to his article “Digging a Hole All the Way to America” as “A Tour de Force Travelogue,” and his article “Down & Out In Fresno and San Francisco” was selected for The Best American Travel Writing 2010. His work has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and on This American Life. He currently lives in San Francisco, California, and has no plans whatsoever of staying there.
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