Divine Magnetic Lands: A Journey in America

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9780099469537: Divine Magnetic Lands: A Journey in America

In 1973, aged twenty-two, Timothy O'Grady left America. For the next thirty years he lived in and wrote about Europe. As he did, the American counter-culture crashed, Ronald Reagan came and went, wars were declared and the country was attacked by air. Much of the world began to look at America in a new way, wondering what had happened to it and where it was going. Among them was Timothy O'Grady, and he decided to go back and investigate.

He went out onto the American road, travelling over fifteen thousand miles through thirty-five states. He met academics, the homeless, war veterans, political activists, New Orleans rappers, billionaires, novelists and a Ku Klux Klansman. In every bar he stopped in, it seemed, there was a story of American life to be heard.

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Review:

"Displays both the startling lyricism and the patient reflection that have made his previous fictions so compelling ... At once a work of profound personal and collective memory" (Time Out)

"[O'Grady] writes beautifully of landscape... He is equally strong on history, politics and current affairs... There hasn't been a better book about America in years" (Daily Telegraph)

"While a cultural and literary journey, O'Grady's is also a political one, showing a country in denial thanks to an inert media intent on ingratiating itself with the powerful" (Guardian)

"O'Grady remains a noteworthy addition to the tradition [Max] Sebald pioneered, a tradition that mixes travel, history, fiction and introspection into the literary equivalent of a new world" (Independent)

"He is perceptive and knowledgeable and writes clear, easy prose...If you're travelling to the States anytime soon, this is a book to pack" (Metro)

Book Description:

Using history, memoir, state-of-the-nation analysis and a novelist“s skill at evoking places and people, Divine Magnetic Lands presents a picture of America as it evolved and how it is at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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