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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.For as long as people have traveled to distant lands, they have brought home objects to certify the journey. More than mere merchandise, these travel souvenirs take on a personal and cultural meaning that goes beyond the object itself. Drawing on several millennia of examples-from the relic-driven quests of early Christians, to the mass-produced tchotchkes that line the shelves of a Disney gift shop-travel writer Rolf Potts delves into a complicated history that explores issues of authenticity, cultural obligation, market forces, human suffering, and self-presentation. Souvenirs are shown for what they really are: not just objects, but personalized forms of folk storytelling that enable people to make sense of the world and their place in it.' Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic. Souvenir features illustrations by Cedar Van Tassel
About the Author
Rolf Potts is the author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel (2003), which has sold more than 150,000 copies and has been translated into five languages. His other publications include Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer (2008), which won the Chatwin Prize for international travel writing in 2009, and The Geto Boys (33 1/3 series, Bloomsbury, 2016). Potts has reported from more than 60 countries worldwide, for the likes of The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Believer, the New York Times Magazine, Slate.com, Salon.com, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Guardian