A Memoir
By Dirk Jamison


224 Pages, 5 1/2 x 8

Formats: Cloth, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Cloth, $22.95 (US $22.95) (CA $30.95)

ISBN 9781556525995

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Apr 2006)


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"That Dirk Jamison managed to survive the events he describes in his memoir is an impressive feat. That he has managed to write about them with such frankness and good humor is astounding." —Adam Langer, author, Crossing California and The Washington Story
Fascinatingly disturbing, this memoir chronicles seven years in the life of a distinctly unordinary American family. In 1973, Dirk Jamison's father started having a midlife crisis that never ended, and after purposefully losing his construction job, he moved his family to a ski resort and started feeding them from dumpsters in an effort to reject money and all its trappings. They were never homeless, never desperately poor, but they lived on garbage. While Jamison struggled with adolescence, he faced a father who valued freedom more than anything, an overweight Mormon mother, and a cruel sister who delighted in physical abuse. Hilarious and horrifying, this heartbreaking account tells the strange story of the anti-American dream.


"Compelling." —Utne Magazine

"Engrossing and poignant, you'll want the childhood to end but the words to continue." —Franz Wisner, author, Honeymoon with My Brother

"A wicked, wonderfully crafted memoir. . . Recollections in a fresh voice—with sharp teeth." —Kirkus Reviews

"Compelling." —Maclean’s

"An intensely relatable picture of the roads we travel into adulthood." —Bookslut

"This month’s must-read memoir." —Zink Magazine

"As humorous as it is heartbreaking" —Baltimore City Paper

"Engaging." —Pages

Author Biography

Dirk Jamison has contributed work to LA Weekly, Self, Utne Reader, and on Public Radio International's This American Life. His documentary film about his father, who still dumpster-dives at the age of 71, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. He lives in Los Angeles.