Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
by Jessica Bruder
Chapter One: The Squeeze Inn
On the foothill freeway, about an hour inland from Los Angeles, a mountain range looms ahead of northbound traffic, bringing suburbia to a sudden stop. This wilderness is the southern edge of the San Bernardino Mountains, a “tall, precipitous escarpment” in the words of the United States Geological Survey. It’s part of a formation that began growing eleven milion years ago along the San Andreas Fault and is still rising today, gaining a few millimeters each year as the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other. The peaks appear to grow much faster, howeveer, when you’re driving straight at them. They’re the kind of sight that makes you sit up straighter and starts a swelling sensation in your chest, a feeling like helium crowding your ribcage, enough perhaps to carry you away.
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