Holy Land

By D.J. Waldie,

Book cover of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Holy Land as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

D.J. Waldie’s writing reminds me of a Raymond Carver short story. His short, deliberate style draws the reader in immediately. You are hooked.

He walks to work. He lives in his parent’s original tract home, part of a planned development built in the 1950s in Lakewood, CA. It was the first one on the west coast. Waldie observes his friends and neighbors, the neighborhood, and its unique place in Southern California history.

After my parent’s divorce, my father lived in Lakewood and Long Beach, so I spent a lot of time down there when I was a kid. Does anyone…

A lyrical and deeply intimate portrait of suburban Southern California in the Cold War. At once odd and beautiful, the book is a memoir, a history lesson, and an argument about how mere houses become homes all rolled into one tidy volume. Its publication nearly thirty years ago came as a surprise. Holy Land has continued to be a touchstone of the quieter and more contemplative aspects of life, family, and neighborhood in the often-overlooked ordinary places where love and loss happen just as often as they do anywhere else.

From William's list on family in California.

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