A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful

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Product Details

Riverhead Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.1 X 1.1 inches | 0.01 pounds

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About the Author

Gideon Lewis-Kraus has written for Harper's, The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Wired, McSweeney's, Bookforum, GQ, Slate, and other publications. For the moment he lives in Brooklyn.


"Beautiful, often very funny... Lewis-Kraus weaves a story that is both searching and purposeful, one that forces the reader, like the pilgrim, to value the journey as much as the destination." -The New Yorker

"A long walk to self-discovery that speaks eloquently of our times." -NPR.org

"Gideon Lewis-Kraus has written a very honest, very smart, very moving book about being young and rootless and even wayward. With great compassion and zeal he gets at the question: why search the world to solve the riddle of your own heart?" -Dave Eggers

"Here is one of the best and most brilliant young writers in America." -GQ

"Charming and disarming... a wonderful exploration of the stories we tell ourselves." -T: The New York Times Style Magazine

"A witty, deeply felt memoir... an honest, incisive grappling with the brute fact... that we only have one life to live... sparkles with tight, nearly aphoristic observations." -The Boston Globe

"Nail[s] our collective anxiety--every sentence rings true... Lewis-Kraus is a master." -Daily Beast

"Rightfully anticipated literary debut." -Nylon

"A complicated meditation on what the physical act of pilgrimage can mean in modern society... [with] moments of brilliant philosophical insight." -The Onion AV Club

"Lewis-Kraus does nothing if not dazzle on the sentence level. But his commentary isn't just pretty; it's deeply self-aware." -The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Gorgeously written... [Lewis-Kraus is] aimless, sure, but meticulously, obsessively, beautifully so." -The Rumpus

"A young writer seeks a cure for his fecklessness by following roads very much taken in this scintillating travel memoir... Lewis-Kraus's vivid descriptive powers and funny, shaggy-dog philosophizing [yield] an entertaining, thoughtful portrait of a slacker caught up in life's quest for something." -Publishers Weekly

"Physically, Lewis-Kraus' feats are staggering, but more so is how fully and fluidly he recounts them, alongside meditation on his own youthful anxieties and a well-synthesized history of the act of pilgrimage." -Booklist

"If David Foster Wallace had written Eat, Pray, Love, it might have come close to approximating the adventures of Gideon Lewis-Kraus. A Sense of Direction is the digressively brilliant and seriously hilarious account of a fellow neurotic's wanderings, and his hard-won lessons in happiness, forgiveness, and international pilgrim fashion." -Gary Shteyngart

"This is a brilliant meditation on what the spiritual and fraternal and paternal and communal might mean to a person right now, fueled as it is by the funny, thorny, dreamy, generous, cranky, rigorous, truth-seeking voice of Gideon Lewis-Kraus. For the sake of whatever force or idea or feeling sustains you, make a pilgrimage to your nearest bookstore and buy the goddamn book." -Sam Lipsyte