'Driving Backwards', an exploration of everyday Gilmanton, with Jessica Lander

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, 7 PM

Driving Backwards is a poignant exploration of the vividness of the everyday. Across twenty years of summers, Jessica Lander has come to know Gilmanton and its residents. Valerie, who tends sixty-five goats,home-schools ten children and crafts artisanal goat cheese. Jim and Cheryl, who raise miniature horses, flocks of chickens and long eared rabbits all on two tiny acres. Duncan, a third generation farmer, who harvests thousands of pound of wild blueberries each year summer. Chuck, who runs a six-generation dairy farm.

Lander's guide is David Bickford—a fireman, carpenter, town selectman and nearly one hundred year old storyteller. Through richly observed portraits and elegant prose Lander elevates the ordinary, and encourages a deeper appreciation for the stories that surrounding us. With grace, humor, affection and insight, Driving Backwards blends three hundred years of colorful history with the contemporary lives, seasonal rhythms and varied landscape of modern small-town America.


About the author:  Jessica Lander is an avid explorer and a lover of stories. She has lived and taught in countries as far away as Thailand and Cambodia and in cities as close as Boston and Cambridge—teaching students from sixth grade to university. In addition to her freelance journalism, she writes an education-focused blog, Chalk Dust, about experiences in and out of the classroom. Growing up, Jessica spent her summers in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. She currently lives in her hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, near to family and friends.


Event date: 
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
45 S Main St
03301 Concord
Driving Backwards Cover Image
ISBN: 9780991452316
Availability: Special Order
Published: TidePool Press - May 2014

Gilmanton was briefly the most famous town in America. Today the town, nestled amongst the hills of Central New Hampshire and along the curve of the Suncook River, is a microcosm of the changing ways and enduring values of rural life in the twenty-first century.