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State by State (Book and DVD Set)

State by State (Book and DVD Set) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

In association with Powell's Books, Out of the Book Films presents State by State, based on the 2008 collection edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey. Screenings will be held in cities and towns across America during the weeks leading up to the 2008 election.

Out of the Book, State by State stars 19 of the book's contributors: Daphne Beal, Alison Bechdel, Will Blythe, Charles Bock, Anthony Bourdain, Susan Choi, Joshua Ferris, Dagoberto Gilb, Myla Goldberg, Paul Greenberg, John Hodgman, Heidi Julavits, Rick Moody, Susan Orlean, David Rakoff, Said Sayrafiezadeh, Ellery Washington, Matt Weiland, and Sean Wilsey.

"As the election approaches, nothing could please us more than to see communities gather around America to share their ideas about what this country is today and what it still can be." Michael Powell, president and founder of Powell's Books

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling editors of The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup comes an American road trip in book form: original writing on all 50 states by 50 of our finest novelists, journalists, and essayists.

Inspired by the example of the legendary WPA American Guide series of the 1930s and '40s, now 50 of our foremost writers have produced original pieces of reportage and memoir that capture the 50 states in our time, creating a fresh portrait of America as it lives and breathes today.

At turns poignant and funny, and always insightful, these 50 writers tell us something lasting and revealing about each state through personal memory or contemporary reporting that captures the essential qualities that make each state its own. With an array of revealing facts and figures comparing the 50 states in a range of surprising measures (toothlessness, military enlistment, suicide), State by State is more than an anthology: It is a classic American road movie in book form.

Review:

"State by State, the movie, is the most ambitious and successful of the three productions by Out of the Book, the movie-making division of Powell's Books. It is a perfect complement to Wilsey and Matt Weiland's anthology.... State by State contributors John Hodgman (Massachusetts) and Anthony Bourdain (New Jersey) are TV veterans, and Charles Bock (Nevada) and Heidi Julavits (Maine) combined their natural storytelling skills with comic timing. Julavits' lament about how people in Maine don't acknowledge outsiders and are reluctant to issue marriage licenses to anyone who hasn't lived there for generations is priceless." Jeff Baker, The Oregonian

Review:

"This informative and fun documentary...showcases a recent night in New York City when 19 of today's finest writers gathered to drink beer and, more important, read aloud their contributions to a new book of essays on each of the 50 states." Very Short List

Review:

"In its personalized way, State by State is an antidote to the oversimplifying red state/blue state rubric....Odds are, reading State by State, that you'll fall for every state a little." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The WPA state guides of the 1930s were intended to 'describe America to Americans' and inspired this wonderful collection of original pieces by 50 writers on the 50 states. No usual suspects here, no sloppy nostalgia....Take this book to the road." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"This eclectic collection of essays describing the ordinary people and places within our 50 states is as essential as the Rand McNally atlas....Alternately brash and bashful...each literary foray in State by State is well worth the trip. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"This fascinating collection, inspired by WPA guides in the 1930s and 1940s, includes original essays on each of the states by some of the country's finest (mostly younger) writers." Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Synopsis:

See America with 50 of Our Finest, Funniest, and Foremost Writers Anthony Bourdain chases the fumigation truck in Bergen County, New Jersey

Dave Eggers tells it straight: Illinois is Number 1

Louise Erdrich loses her bikini top in North Dakota

Jonathan Franzen gets waylaid by New York's publicist...and personal attorney...and historian...and geologist

John Hodgman explains why there is no such thing as a "Massachusettsean"

Edward P. Jones makes the case: D.C. should be a state!

Jhumpa Lahiri declares her reckless love for the Rhode Island coast

Rick Moody explores the dark heart of Connecticut's Merritt Parkway, exit by exit

Ann Patchett makes a pilgrimage to the Civil War site at Shiloh, Tennessee

William T. Vollmann visits a San Francisco S&M club and Many More!

Video

About the Author

Matt Weiland is the Deputy Editor of the Paris Review. He has been an editor at Granta, the Baffler and the New Press, and he oversaw a documentary radio unit at NPR. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, New York Observer, the Nation and the New Republic. He is the co-editor, with Sean Wilsey, of The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup and, with Thomas Frank, of Commodify Your Dissent: The Business of Culture in the New Gilded Age. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.

Sean Wilsey is the author of Oh the Glory of It All, a memoir. He is also an Editor-at-Large for McSweeney's, and the co-editor, with Matt Weiland, of The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup.

Table of Contents

Preface by Matt Weiland
Introduction by Sean Wilsey

The 50 States:
Alabama by George Packer
Alaska by Paul Greenberg
Arizona by Lydia Millet
Arkansas by Kevin Brockmeier
California by William T. Vollmann
Colorado by Benjamin Kunkel
Connecticut by Rick Moody
Delaware by Craig Taylor
Florida by Joshua Ferris
Georgia by Ha Jin
Hawaii by Tara Bray Smith
Idaho by Anthony Doerr
Illinois by Dave Eggers
Indiana by Susan Choi
Iowa by Dagoberto Gilb
Kansas by Jim Lewis
Kentucky by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Louisiana by Joshua Clark
Maine by Heidi Julavits
Maryland by Myla Goldberg
Massachusetts by John Hodgman
Michigan by Mohammed Naseehu Ali
Minnesota by Philip Connors
Mississippi by Barry Hannah
Missouri by Jacki Lyden
Montana by Sarah Vowell
Nebraska by Alexander Payne
Nevada by Charles Bock
New Hampshire by Will Blythe
New Jersey by Anthony Bourdain
New Mexico by Ellery Washington
New York by Jonathan Franzen
North Carolina by Randall Kenan
North Dakota by Louise Erdrich
Ohio by Susan Orlean
Oklahoma by S.E. Hinton
Oregon by Joe Sacco
Pennsylvania by Andrea Lee
Rhode Island by Jhumpa Lahiri
South Carolina by Jack Hitt
South Dakota by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
Tennessee by Ann Patchett
Texas by Cristina Hernriquez
Utah by David Rakoff
Vermont by Alison Bechdel
Virginia by Tony Horwitz
Washington by Carrie Brownstein
West Virginia by Jayne Anne Phillips
Wisconsin by Daphne Beal
Wyoming by Alexandra Fuller

Afterword on Washington, D.C.: A Conversation with Edward P. Jones

The 50 States in Numbers:
Population
Population increase
Foreign-born population
No religion
Birth rate
Median age
Gross state product
Bankruptcy filings
Military recruits
Best educated
Public education expenditure
Divorce rate
Suicide rate
Violent crime
Incarceration rate
Oil consumption
Gasoline consumption
Alcohol consumption
Cigarette consumption
Cocaine use
Marijuana use
No health insurance
Ever breastfed
Toothless residents
Overweight and obese
Highest monthly temperature
Lowest monthly temperature

About the Contributors

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Robert Schindler, November 28, 2008 (view all comments by Robert Schindler)
This book was a great disappointment to me. Calling any of these essays an accurate description of a state is like taking one perspective of the blind man touching the elephant to describe the entire animal. A few of the essays are excellent, but the majority are weak and rambling. The DVD is far better than the book, and this coming from someone who doesn't like movies.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(14 of 27 readers found this comment helpful)
Amy Hyler-Essig, September 11, 2008 (view all comments by Amy Hyler-Essig)
Having read only snippets of these stories so far, I am so intrigued to read the rest! There is a wide range of writing styles, but each story has such an honest flavor to it that each one is entirely compelling in its own way. I'd highly recommend this collection to anyone wanting a taste of where the people of the US come from.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(16 of 34 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781135907983
Publisher:
Ecco
Publication Date:
September 2008
Author:
Wilsey, Sean
Author:
Weiland, Matt
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
608

Related Subjects

State by State (Book and DVD Set)
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 608 pages Ecco - English 9781135907983 Reviews:
"Review" by , "State by State, the movie, is the most ambitious and successful of the three productions by Out of the Book, the movie-making division of Powell's Books. It is a perfect complement to Wilsey and Matt Weiland's anthology.... State by State contributors John Hodgman (Massachusetts) and Anthony Bourdain (New Jersey) are TV veterans, and Charles Bock (Nevada) and Heidi Julavits (Maine) combined their natural storytelling skills with comic timing. Julavits' lament about how people in Maine don't acknowledge outsiders and are reluctant to issue marriage licenses to anyone who hasn't lived there for generations is priceless."
"Review" by , "This informative and fun documentary...showcases a recent night in New York City when 19 of today's finest writers gathered to drink beer and, more important, read aloud their contributions to a new book of essays on each of the 50 states."
"Review" by , "In its personalized way, State by State is an antidote to the oversimplifying red state/blue state rubric....Odds are, reading State by State, that you'll fall for every state a little."
"Review" by , "The WPA state guides of the 1930s were intended to 'describe America to Americans' and inspired this wonderful collection of original pieces by 50 writers on the 50 states. No usual suspects here, no sloppy nostalgia....Take this book to the road."
"Review" by , "This eclectic collection of essays describing the ordinary people and places within our 50 states is as essential as the Rand McNally atlas....Alternately brash and bashful...each literary foray in State by State is well worth the trip. (Grade: A)"
"Review" by , "This fascinating collection, inspired by WPA guides in the 1930s and 1940s, includes original essays on each of the states by some of the country's finest (mostly younger) writers."
"Synopsis" by , See America with 50 of Our Finest, Funniest, and Foremost Writers Anthony Bourdain chases the fumigation truck in Bergen County, New Jersey

Dave Eggers tells it straight: Illinois is Number 1

Louise Erdrich loses her bikini top in North Dakota

Jonathan Franzen gets waylaid by New York's publicist...and personal attorney...and historian...and geologist

John Hodgman explains why there is no such thing as a "Massachusettsean"

Edward P. Jones makes the case: D.C. should be a state!

Jhumpa Lahiri declares her reckless love for the Rhode Island coast

Rick Moody explores the dark heart of Connecticut's Merritt Parkway, exit by exit

Ann Patchett makes a pilgrimage to the Civil War site at Shiloh, Tennessee

William T. Vollmann visits a San Francisco S&M club and Many More!

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