Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir (Paperback)
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"Infinitely moving and powerful, just dead-on right, and absolutely original." —Joan Didion
Since its publication in 1996, Holy Land has become an American classic. In "quick, translucent prose" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) that is at once lyrical and unsentimental, D. J. Waldie recounts growing up in Lakewood, California, a prototypical post-World War II suburb. Laid out in 316 sections as carefully measured as a grid of tract houses, Holy Land is by turns touching, eerie, funny, and encyclopedic in its handling of what was gained and lost when thousands of blue-collar families were thrown together in the suburbs of the 1950s. An intensely realized and wholly original memoir about the way in which a place can shape a life, Holy Land is ultimately about the resonance of choices—how wide a street should be, what to name a park—and the hopes that are realized in the habits of everyday life.
About the Author
D. J. Waldie still lives in the tract house he writes about. He has received a Whiting Writers Award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, among other honors.
[Holy Land] invites the reader to consider how our lives are shaped by the structures we live within, and to wonder what it might mean to live a 'good life', in both material and spiritual terms.
— Eula Biss - The Guardian
A quirky, haunting and frequently breathtaking account of postwar suburban life. Quietly inspiring.
— Dave Eggers