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Holy Land : a Suburban Memoir (96 Edition)

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Holy Land : a Suburban Memoir (96 Edition) Cover

 

Staff Pick

While most memoirs explore the intricacies of the self, Holy Land indulges in a different kind of exploration — one specifically tied to place. D. J. Waldie grew up in the '50s in Lakewood, California — a sprawling planned community that signified the beginning of a new era in American living. Through prose as modest as the homes in the Lakewood housing development, we bear witness to the birth of a suburb and come to see that beyond its eerily similar structures and carefully maintained plots of land lies a community with history and endurance and life quietly asserting itself in small gestures.
Recommended by Renee P., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

An exquisitely realized and wholly original memoir of growing up in blue-collar 1950s Lakewood, California, the quintessential post-world war II American suburb and the prototype for the countless tract developments that would follow. Lyrical, compassionate statement of the hard-won values of American suburban places.

D. J. Waldie was named on of the "100 coolest people in L.A." by Buzz magazine and was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He lives in the house his parents bought in Lakewood, California, where he is a city official.

California Book Award Winner

This is an exquisitely realized and wholly original memoir of growing up in blue-collar 1950s Lakewood, California, the quintessential post-World War II American suburb and the prototype for the countless tract developments that would follow. Lyrical, compassionate, and profound, Holy Land is an uncompromising, passionate statement of the hard-won values of American suburban places.

"Infinitely moving and powerful, just dead-on right, and absolutely original."Joan Didion

'Welcome to the first church of the suburbs. Let Holy Land be your bible."Los Angeles Times

"An astonishing book, unsentimental, baleful, yet oddly affecting. I have never read anything quite like it."Witold Rybczynski

"With Holy Land, poet-historian D. J. Waldie has produced a brilliant period piece about suburban L.A., an American classic which shines with the poignancy, loss, and optimism produced by ages of discovery."Peter Theroux

"I have read hundreds, perhaps a thousand or more, memoirs of California. Holy Land ranks with the best of them. With spare fact, minimalist prose, and rich emotion Waldie has managed to present the rise of suburban Southern California in its full complexity."Dr. Kevin Starr, author of Americans and the California Dream

"Part memoir, part social history, this odd collection of reflections should resonate with anyone who has experienced the profound loneliness of life in suburbia. Waldie is a poet, one of Buzz magazine's 100 certified cool people, and a public information officer of Lakewood, Calif. He has written a bizarre, often nonsequential, collection of anecdotes and observations on the oppressively gridlike layout of the suburb in which he still lives, city planning, flood control, estrangement between neighbors or between parents and children, Catholicism, and bureaucracy. Waldie's flat, terse, and often emotionless prose seems jarringly appropriate to this description of an environment characterized by painful aesthetic monotony and emotional distance. 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'). As a city official, he comes in contact with Lakewood's most eccentric residents; his descriptions of them, factual and stripped of explicit judgment or commentary, are both funny and desperately sad. Mrs. A. perpetually invents conspiracies that implicate the city, the cable company, NASA, and the fast-food fry cook who raped her. One man complains about the red traffic signals he encounters on his way home from work: he wants the city to make them all green, all the time."Kirkus Reviews

"Waldie, the public information officer for Lakewood, California, brings that suburb to life by interweaving a plethora of historical facts and statistical details with brief anecdotes about community residents. Ironically, these anecdotes tend to focus on those who violated community norms. His work, organized into 316 brief sections, combines personal narrative with a history of real-estate development in the community. Several common threads run through each memoir: father-son relations, fear of communism, community responses to the Vietnam War dead, even the Catholic liturgy during Holy Week . . . [He] describes the virtues of ordinariness and uniformity resulting from mass production. Waldie's work will attract readers with an interest in urban planning."William Gargan, Brooklyn College Library, CUNY, Library Journal

"Unusual and compelling."Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

An exquisitely realized and wholly original memoir of growing up in blue-color 1950's Lakewood, California--the quintessential post-World War II American suburb and the prototype for the countless tract developments that would follow--"Holy Land" chronicles the rise of suburban California in its full complexity. 20 photos. 192 p.

Synopsis:

An exquisitely realized and wholly original memoir of growing up in blue-collar 1950s Lakewood, California, the quintessential post-world war II American suburb and the prototype for the countless tract developments that would follow. Lyrical, compassionate statement of the hard-won values of American suburban places.

About the Author

D.J. Waldie was named one of the "100 coolest people in L.A." by Buzz magazine and was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1994. He lives in the house his parents bought in 1946 in Lakewood, California, where he is a city official.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312168643
Subtitle:
A Suburban Memoir
Author:
Waldie, D. J.
Author:
Waldie, D. J.
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin
Location:
New York :
Subject:
California
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
United States - State & Local
Subject:
Social conditions
Subject:
Regional Subjects - West
Subject:
Suburban life
Subject:
Suburban life -- California -- Lakewood.
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
Waldie, D. J
Subject:
Lakewood (Calif.) Social life and customs.
Subject:
General Biography
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
19970815
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Illustrated
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Americana » California

Holy Land : a Suburban Memoir (96 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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$8.00 In Stock
Product details 192 pages St. Martin's Griffin - English 9780312168643 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

While most memoirs explore the intricacies of the self, Holy Land indulges in a different kind of exploration — one specifically tied to place. D. J. Waldie grew up in the '50s in Lakewood, California — a sprawling planned community that signified the beginning of a new era in American living. Through prose as modest as the homes in the Lakewood housing development, we bear witness to the birth of a suburb and come to see that beyond its eerily similar structures and carefully maintained plots of land lies a community with history and endurance and life quietly asserting itself in small gestures.

"Synopsis" by , An exquisitely realized and wholly original memoir of growing up in blue-color 1950's Lakewood, California--the quintessential post-World War II American suburb and the prototype for the countless tract developments that would follow--"Holy Land" chronicles the rise of suburban California in its full complexity. 20 photos. 192 p.
"Synopsis" by ,
An exquisitely realized and wholly original memoir of growing up in blue-collar 1950s Lakewood, California, the quintessential post-world war II American suburb and the prototype for the countless tract developments that would follow. Lyrical, compassionate statement of the hard-won values of American suburban places.

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