Written in 1975 by Jane Stern, over the course of three years. Stern gathered the material from the fables of truckdrivers, straight from their own mouths, gathered in truck stops and while riding shotgun with them. Trucker would appear at first glance to be little more than an obscure coffeetable book, enhanced photojournalism.

It's not, though. You want a book that will induce a mindfuck? If you're American, with any sense of what it's like to need to go, you'll find in reading this that there's a long trail of not-so-archaic mythology responsible for that common desire in all of us, at least a little bit. In a country whose idols are loners and anti-heroes, it's no wonder we give a certain prima facia respect to the solitary individual, alone with the land (or the road).

Sociology aside, this book is beautiful in its romanticizing of the trucker and his lifestyle (forgive the gender-specific pronouns; remember this was written in the early 70's). If you've taken a road trip or ridden the Greyhound, you know how this feels. Watching towns you have no connection to roll by, driving through flat midwestern darkness, seeing nothing but the patch of road before you illuminated by your headlights. The aching desire to stop for an hour, to stretch your legs, and the accompanying determination that you will reach X location within Y length of time. The difference between a car you use only for a short commute, that you keep free of trash and wash every other week, and the car you've lived in for a week or more, sputtering into its final destination thick with road dirt, floor obscured by crumpled packaging. There's an accompanying pride. After a while motion becomes an addiction and comfort claustrophobic. That's what this book's about.

Trivia, myths, and other concepts garnered from Trucker:
Favorite characters:
Coming soon! Poems from 'Trucker'

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