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Nomadland

Jessica Bruder

Nomadland

by Jessica Bruder

Nomadland

Jessica Bruder

5 min
3 key insights
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The true story behind Chloe Zhao's Academy Award-winning film Nomadland, Jessica Bruder's non-fiction book is the tale of a modern tribe of nomads – the elderly van-dwellers and 'workampers' of the American West.

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Nomadland

by Jessica Bruder

Nomadland

Jessica Bruder

Overview

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many older Americans were forced to adopt an alternative, nomadic lifestyle.

Jessica Bruder, an award-winning American journalist, spent three years immersed in the growing subculture of van-dwellers and seasonal workers in the Western United States. She followed and interviewed several elderly nomads on their journeys, from Amazon's warehouses and RV campsites, to annual gatherings across the American West.

Their stories were first published in Bruder's cover article for Harper's Magazine in 2014, and later became the New York Times bestseller subtitled Surviving Twenty-First Century America. Some of Bruder's interviewees played themselves in Chloe Zhao's Oscar-winning film starring Frances McDormand. The film was loosely based on the book, but incorporated a lot of Bruder's research and input.

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Favorite Quote

"Being human means yearning for much more than subsistence. As much as food or shelter, we require hope."

Jessica Bruder

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Nomadland

Jessica Bruder

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