Somewhere in America by Mark Singer
Under the Radar With Chicken Warriors, Left-Wing Patriots, Angry Nudists, and Others

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Synopsis

Mark Singer has a dream job: he travels the country in search of under-the-radar stories, unusual but emblematic tales of American lives, and writes about them in the New Yorker column "U.S. Journal." The results, now for the first time collected in one volume, are vivid, humorous portraits of life in the big cities and small towns of contemporary America.
Singer meets the teenage reporters of a Texas town's only newspaper, explores the life of a western Massachusetts diner and the community that needs it, attends a meeting of obituary writers, and offers a pit-side view of the battle over cockfighting. From righteous, middle-aged nudists in Vermont to righteous, middle-aged Civil War reenactors in Louisiana, Singer brings a poignant and humane spirit to his snapshots of people and their trials. Each piece, illuminating in its attention to the telling detail, is delicious on its own terms. But in constellation with one another, these essays reveal a broad portrait of America at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Somewhere in America offers a rare glimpse of the cultural kaleidoscope of our country and reveals a broad portrait of who we are—as individuals, as communities, as Americans.
 

About Mark Singer

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Mark Singer has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1974. He is the author of Funny Money, Mr. Personality, Citizen K, and Somewhere in America. He lives in New York City.
 
Published June 17, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 272 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Singer doesn’t shy from less savory items, such as cockfighting (described at one point as “this quaint pastime,” a phrase dropped into the story so lightly that the reader is pulled to a complete stop before realizing the words are like tinder about to combust), or the fallout for a Middle Easte...

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Publishers Weekly

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(June 17) Forecast: Ads in the New Yorker will lure Singer's fans, who may also want to pick up the simultaneously published paperback edition of Singer's Funny Money (Mariner, $13 ISBN 0-618-19727-3), which will feature a new afterword.

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Entertainment Weekly

That's two decades longer than the plucky high school journalists of Itasca, Tex., have been producing the town's sole newspaper, ''Paw Print Press'', but not as long as the near half century that Joe's Diner in Lee, Mass., stayed open around the clock before Joe retired his spatula in 2001.

Jun 18 2004 | Read Full Review of Somewhere in America: Under t...

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