Saturday Night by Susan Orlean

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Twenty years ago, before she wrote The Orchid Thief or was hailed as “a national treasure” by The Washington Post, Susan Orlean was a journalist with a question: What makes Saturday night so special? To answer it, she embarked on a remarkable journey across the country and spent the evening with all sorts of people in all sorts of places—hipsters in Los Angeles, car cruisers in small-town Indiana, coeds in Boston, the homeless in New York, a lounge band in Portland, quinceañera revelers in Phoenix, and more—to chronicle the one night of the week when we do the things we want to do rather than the things we need to do. The result is an irresistible portrait of how Saturday night in America is lived that remains.

About Susan Orlean

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Susan Orlean is a staff writer for The New Yorker and has also written for Outside, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vogue. She graduated from the University of Michigan and worked as a reporter in Portland, Oregon, and Boston, Massachusetts. Orlean is the author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend. She now lives in New York City and can be reached via the internet at
Published August 16, 2011 by Simon & Schuster. 288 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Tight, clean prose and thoughtful observations make this series of essays about the Saturday night experience hum with all the vitality and activity of its subject. Freelance writer Orlean demonstrate

Sep 14 2014 | Read Full Review of Saturday Night

Entertainment Weekly

Offhand I can't think of a better way to spend Saturday night than .

May 04 1990 | Read Full Review of Saturday Night


Whereas in his own time Alger was credited with inventing a moral hero who becomes modestly successful, during the early years [of the 20th century] he seemed to have invented a successful hero who is modestly moral.”35 In the wake of the Gilded Age’s excesses and depredations, a self-made man wh...

Sep 29 2014 | Read Full Review of Saturday Night

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