Finn Murphy

discusses

The Long Haul:
A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road

in conversation with JAMES PARKER

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jun
15
Thursday
June 15, 2017
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes long-haul trucker FINN MURPHY and The Pilgrim editor JAMES PARKER for a discussion of Murphy's memoir, The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road.

About The Long Haul

More than thirty years ago, Finn Murphy dropped out of college to become a long-haul trucker. Since then he’s covered more than a million miles packing, loading, and hauling people’s belongings all over America. Known by his trucker handle as U-Turn, he spends his days (and many of his nights) in a 53-foot eighteen-wheeler he calls Cassidy.

In The Long Haul, Murphy offers a trucker’s-eye view of America on the move. Going far beyond the myth of the American road trip, he whisks readers down the I-95 Powerlane, across the Florida Everglades, in and out of the truck stops of the Midwest, and through the steep grades of the Rocky Mountains. As he crisscrosses the country, Murphy recounts with wit, candor, and charm the America he has seen change over the decades, from the hollowing-out of small towns to changing tastes in culture and home furnishings.

Some 40 million Americans move each year, and very few have any idea what they’re getting into or the kind of person to whom they are relinquishing their worldly goods. The Long Haul is also a behind-the-scenes look at the moving industry, revealing what really happens when we call in “the movers.”

Through it all, Murphy tells poignant, funny, and often haunting stories of the people he encounters on the job: a feisty hoarder in New Hampshire; a Virginia homeowner raging when Murphy’s truck accidentally runs down a stand of trees; an ex-banker in Colorado who treats Finn and his crew with undisguised contempt; a widow who needs Murphy to bring her archeologist husband’s remains and relics to a Navajo burial ceremony in New Mexico. These experiences inspire Finn’s memorable reflections on work, class, and the bonds we form with the things we own and the places we live.

Brimming with personality and filled with great characters, The Long Haul is a resonant portrait of the enduring appeal of manual labor in the dark underbelly of the American Dream.

Praise

"America’s much-vaunted geographic mobility is built in every sense on the backs of people like Finn Murphy—yet few of us stop to consider their lives. The Long Haul is a fine remedy to that blindness, and it comes at a politically relevant moment, with a pleasing balance of humor, wisdom, and unvarnished insights into a way of life that makes the American way of life possible." —Mark Vanhoenacker, author of Skyfaring

"Like the best works of sociology, The Long Haul illuminates a ubiquitous but curiously overlooked segment of American life. But this is no mere empirical survey: Finn Murphy invites you into the air-cushioned cab of his eighteen-wheeler and along for a coast-to-coast ride that is trenchantly observed, wryly funny, and filled with human drama." —Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic

Finn Murphy
Finn Murphy

Finn Murphy

Finn Murphy grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Colorado. He started working as a long-haul trucker in 1980. The Long Haul is his first book.

Photo credit: Kevin Snyder Photography

James Parker
James Parker

James Parker

James Parker is a columnist for The Atlantic and the editor of The Pilgrim, a literary magazine from the homeless community of downtown Boston. 

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

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FAQ:

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
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