Everything Lost Is Found Again by Will McGrath
Everything Lost Is Found Again by Will McGrath
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Paperback: 224 pages
Funny and heartfelt, this blend of memoir and essay collection tells the story of nearly two years the author spent in Lesotho, the small, landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa. There he finds a spirit of joyful absurdity and resolve, welcomed by people who take strangers’ hands as they walk down the road, people who—with sweetest face—drop the dirtiest jokes in the southern hemisphere. But Lesotho is also a place where shepherds exact Old Testament retribution, where wounded pride incites murder and families are devastated by the AIDS epidemic.
Driven by a spirit of openhearted cultural exchange, and reminiscent of Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country and Alexandra Fuller’s Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Will McGrath’s Everything Lost Is Found Again brings humor and heart to pop ethnography—an off-kilter celebration of our common human identity. Winner of the 2017 Dzanc/Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize.
PRAISE FOR EVERYTHING LOST IS FOUND AGAIN
“It's been a while since I've fallen this hard for nonfiction. McGrath's experiences among the charming, vibrant citizens of Lesotho and the wit, warmth, and writerly spark with which he puts them on the page make for a scrumptious literary chakalaka (see page 100).”
—Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
“A wonderful book, keenly observed, a breezy, thought-provoking read. ... A joyous, surprising, sometimes funny book, although the cloud of AIDS hangs over many chapters. ... McGrath is a likable, curious guide, embracing whatever adventures come along.”
“Subtle, witty, and well-observed, McGrath's narrative is a chronicle of spiritual growth and a memorable love letter to the remote African kingdom that stole his heart. A warmly humane memoir.”
“An endearing combination of insightful commentary and sympathetic comedy. This is a book in the best tradition of travel writing. ... Laugh-out-loud moments are balanced by heart-warming interludes, and altogether, this is an illuminating and enjoyable read that reminds readers of the essential oneness of humanity.”
“Part reflection, part travel log, and an all-over love song to Lesotho, Everything Lost Is Found Again is a beautiful story that will have readers longing to travel to foreign lands. As an outsider, Will McGrath sees both the oddities and the commonality of people. With a compassionate writing style that never condescends , he shares his experiences of both tragedy and joy as he ventures into his host land. Wrapped in the golden glow of a warm heart, McGrath has crafted a story that can proudly sit along side the works of Bill Bryson and Alexander McCall Smith.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books
“It is messy, often overwritten, sometimes jumbled. But above all it is joyful. McGrath tells his stories, even the tragic ones, with hope and humor—the greatest defenses against despair.”
“With astute sensitivity, a reporter's eye, and a poet's command of language, Will McGrath introduces us to so much more than a place. He situates us inside the small quiet moments of grace that define everyday lives. The writing is at once joyous and devastating, luminous and tender.”
—Inara Verzemnieks, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Among the Living and the Dead
“Who says there are no places left on earth to explore? In this charming memoir, Will McGrath traverses one of the world's least-known countries - Lesotho, tiny and mountainous, grappling with AIDS but rich with storybook history and its own invincible spirit. Everything Lost Is Found Again is beautifully written, by turns moving and hilarious. It's an enlightening adventure in the tradition of Patrick Leigh Fermor and V.S. Naipaul.”
—Tony Perrottet, author of Off the Deep End: Travels in Forgotten Frontiers
“In dazzling prose and with humor both tender and sidesplitting, McGrath pulls off what I most adore about foreign reportage: he makes me care deeply about a place I’ve never been and wish desperately that I, too, could visit the nation and share his experiences.”
—Rafe Bartholomew, former Grantland senior editor and author of Pacific Rims
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
WILL McGRATH has worked as a reporter, homeless shelter caseworker, public radio producer, UPS truck loader, Burger King mayo-applicator, ghostwriter, and ghosteditor, in slightly different order. He spent twenty months living in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho, and has written for The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Foreign Affairs, Guernica, and Roads & Kingdoms, among other magazines. His writing has won nonfiction awards including the 2014 Felice Buckvar Prize and has been translated into Chinese, Hungarian, and Japanese.