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Recreational vehicles were parked in the La Posa long term visitor area in Quartzsite, Arizona this February. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Discussion questions for ‘Nomadland’

Our March/April 2021 pick for Now Read This, the PBS NewsHour’s book club with The New York Times, is Jessica Bruder’s “Nomadland.” Become a member of the Now Read This book club by joining our Facebook group, or by signing up to our newsletter. Learn more about the book club here.

Below are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Bruder on our Google form.

WARNING: Spoiler alert on questions further down

  1. The book focuses on a growing community of older Americans who have taken to the road. Have you ever lived as a nomad yourself? If so, how does your experience square with Jessica Bruder’s reporting?
  2. What did you think of the author’s decision to live and work on the road herself? What impact did her own experience add to the story?
  3. Bruder writes that many of the folks who show up at Bob Wells’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous are seeking respite from a “culture of economic misfortune.” Have these economic conditions persisted, or worsened, during the pandemic, in your view? How?
  4. Many of the folks in Bruder’s book talk about experiencing ageism later in life. Have you encountered ageism in your own professional life?
  5. Did you view Amazon in a different light after reading about the working conditions for employees of their CamperForce program?
  6. How do people like Linda May reconcile their anti-consumerist ideals with working jobs offered by companies such as Amazon?
  7. Bruder acknowledges that the people she spent time with were mostly white. What does this say about race and opportunity in America?
  8. If you saw the recent film, how did it compare to Bruder’s book?
  9. What did you think of Bruder’s writing style? Were there certain details, lines or passages that stood out to you?
  10. Did your understanding of the word “home” change after reading this book?
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