From the New York
Times bestselling author of Le Divorce comes a dazzling meditation
on the mysteries of the “wispy but material” family ghosts who shape us.
Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois,
Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see
the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her,
“Indifference to history—that’s why you Americans seem so naïve and don’t
really know where you’re from.”
The j’accuse stayed with Johnson. Were Americans
indifferent to history? Her own family seemed always to have been in the
Midwest. Surely they had gotten there from somewhere? In digging around, she
discovers letters and memoirs written by generations of stalwart pioneer ancestors
that testify to more complex times than the derisive nickname “The Flyover”
gives the region credit for.
With the acuity and sympathy that her novels are known for,
she captures the magnetic pull of home against our lust for escape and
self-invention. This spellbinding memoir will appeal to fans of Bill Bryson,
Patricia Hampl, and Annie Dillard. Download and start listening now!