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Beneath the America we think we know lies a nation hidden from view – a nomadic nation, living on the roads, the rails and in the wild open spaces.
When British writer Richard Grant moved to the USA more than 20 years ago it wasn’t just a change of country. He soon found himself in a world of travellers and the culture of roadside America - existing alongside, but separate from conventional society.
Grant himself became infected by the wandering bug and for over a decade lived the nomadic life himself. Criss-crossing the country, he ventured ever-deeper into the burning deserts – energised by the limitless landscape and the never-ending possibilities of what lay beyond. The secret of his happiness, he confesses, is never to stay in any place for longer than three weeks.
In American Nomads he takes to the road again, on a journey without destination. In a series of encounters and unplanned meetings, Richard Grant is guided by his own instincts and experiences - and the serendipity of the road. Travelling with loners and groups, he encounters the different ‘tribes’ of nomads as he journeys across the deserts of America’s south-west.
He meets hitch-hikers and gutter punks, train hopping kids, blood-and-thunder travelling preachers in one-horse towns and transient rodeo riders who drive thousand miles for an eight-second ride. And the biggest tribe of all – the retirees - ‘snow-birds’ – who sold their houses and have taken to the road in luxurious motorhomes, turning parts of the desert into transient suburbias.
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