Interstate, the second book by Julian Sayarer to be published by Arcadia, has overcome competition including from travel writing legend Paul Theroux to win the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award.
Chair of Judges, travel writer and biographer Sara Wheeler, said: “The decision was unanimous. Sayarer is a brilliantly thoughtful writer with no shortage of passion and anger. As befits the story of a road trip, the prose is the opposite of pedestrian: it is challenging and enigmatic – its power derives in part from what is left out. One can’t help thinking that the future of travel writing lies in this adventurous, post-modern genre.”
Interstate tells the story of Sayarer, finding a project in New York city cancelled, deciding to hitchhike to San Francisco. Revisiting this timeless American journey finds an unseen nation in rough shape. Along the road are homeless people and anarchists who have dropped out of society altogether, and blue-collar Americans who seem to have lost all meaning in forgotten towns and food deserts. Helped along by roadside communities and encounters that somehow keep a sense of optimism alive, Interstate: Hitchhiking Through the State of a Nation grapples with the fault lines in US society. It tells a tale of Steinbeck and Kerouac, set against the indifference of the vast US landscape and the frustrated energy of American culture and politics at the start of a new century.
Julian Sayarer is an author, journalist, and is often called an adventurer, although normally by other people. He has cycled six times across Europe, hitchhiked across the United States, and in 2009 broke the 18,000-mile world record for a circumnavigation by bicycle. A politics graduate, Julian's writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, New Statesman, Aeon Magazine, and many others, including a host of cycling publications. He writes slow travel, his writing from the roadside a 12mph view of the world in passing.