Off the Road: An American Sketchbook


After my first book came out, I quit my job at the New Yorker and drove around America in my parents’ ’89 Honda. I brought forty-eight maps, sixty sketchbooks, and a guidebook listing every Motel 6 in the country (though most nights I ended up sleeping in car). I went to some predictable places, let some unpredictable places come to me: sunbathers in Florida, the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Vermont, fire fighters in Idaho, the Chicago Board of Trade. I put 14,000 miles on the car. The trip took all summer. When I was done I put my experiences in this book.


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