On a frigid April night, a classically trained opera singer, five months pregnant, and her husband, a former marine biologist, disembark an Amtrak train in La Plata, Missouri, assemble two bikes, and pedal off into the night, bound for a homestead they've purchased, sight unseen. Meanwhile, a horticulturist, heir to the Great Migration that brought masses of African Americans to Detroit, and her husband, a product of the white flight from it, have turned to urban farming to revitalize the blighted city they both love. And near Missoula, Montana, a couple who have been at the forefront of organic farming for decades navigate what it means to live and raise a family ethically.
Mark Sundeen’s book “The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America,” sparked by a personal quest, traces the search for the simple life through the stories of these new pioneers and what inspired each of them to look for -- or create -- a better existence. “The Unsettlers” imagines what a sustainable, ethical, authentic future might look like.
Mark Sundeen is the author of The Unsettlers, The Man Who Quit Money, The Making of Toro, and Car Camping. He has won fellowships from the Macdowell Colony and the Montana Arts Council. A correspondent for Outside Magazine, his work has appeared in the New York Times, The Believer, National Geographic Adventure, and McSweeneys. Raised in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, California, Sundeen holds degrees from Stanford and the University of Southern California. He lives in Utah, Montana, or Colorado, depending.
Mark Sundeen will be at The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City on Thursday for an event at 7:00 p.m. and at Back of Beyond Books in Moab on Friday at 7:00 p.m.