Stories We Tell, the American Dreamlife, and How to Understand Everything*
A Northern Irish writer explores his adopted homeland through film in this irreverent yet moving journey through each of the 50 states. Set among a personal backdrop of immigration memoir, he takes on American myths in their most powerful form—the motion picture—by setting out to determine if a Kansas yellow brick road really does lead to the end of the rainbow, and whether it first has to pass through Colorado's Overlook Hotel. Amid the multipurpose woodchippers, friendly exorcists, and faulty motel showers, resurrected baseball players, and miracle-working gardeners, he examines what the stories we tell reveal about American lives and uses this to sum up what he has learned about the promises, failures, and hope that is America.
Gareth Higgins is a peace activist, a blogger, and a contributing editor at Sojourners Magazine. He has written for the Independent, the Irish Times, and Third Way. He cohosts the award-winning podcast, The Film Talk, and has present on BBC Radio. He is the author of How Movies Helped Save My Soul and coauthor of Religion, Civil Society, and Peace in Northern Ireland. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.