Holy Land by D. J. Waldie
A Suburban Memoir

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Synopsis

"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. 20 illustrations and a new introduction for this paperback edition.
 

About D. J. Waldie

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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.
 
Published April 17, 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company. 208 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Holy Land

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Waldie skillfully traces Lakewood's evolution in the context of the rise of the suburbs, tract housing, shopping centers, and the 1950s illusion that everyone could be middle class (``Middle-class houses are the homes of people who would not live here'').

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Publishers Weekly

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Waldie, public information officer of Lakewood, Calif., as a boy moved with his family to one of that town's suburbs that was designed and built nearly overnight during the 1950s. In this unusual and

Jun 03 1996 | Read Full Review of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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A Lakewood, Calif., city official chronicles his 1950s childhood there.

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Publishers Weekly

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Waldie, public information officer of Lakewood, Calif., as a boy moved with his family to one of that town's suburbs that was designed and built nearly overnight during the 1950s.

| Read Full Review of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir

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