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Travels with Lizbeth

Three Years on the Road and on the Streets

Eighner, Lars

St. Martin's Griffin

“Lars Eighner is the Thoreau of the Dumpsters. Comparisons to Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Hamsun’s Hunger leap to mind. A classic of down-and-out literature.” —Phillip Lopate

 
When Travels with Lizbeth was first published in 1993, it was proclaimed an instant classic. Lars Eighner’s account of his descent into homelessness and his adventures on the streets has moved, charmed, and amused generations of readers. As Lars wrote, “When I began writing this account I was living under a shower curtain in a stand of bamboo in a public park. I did not undertake to write about homelessness, but wrote what I knew, as an artist paints a still life, not because he is especially fond of fruit, but because the subject is readily at hand.” 

Containing the widely anthologized essay “On Dumpster Diving,” Travels with Lizbeth is a beautifully written account of one man's experience of homelessness, a story of physical survival, and the triumph of the artistic spirit in the face of enormous adversity. In his unique voice—dry, disciplined, poignant, comic—Eighner celebrates the companionship of his dog, Lizbeth, and recounts their ongoing struggle to survive on the streets of Austin, Texas, and hitchhiking along the highways to Southern California and back. “Lars Eighner is the Thoreau of the Dumpsters. Comparisons to Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Hamsun’s Hunger leap to mind. A classic of down-and-out literature.” —Phillip Lopate

 When Travels with Lizbeth was first published in 1993, it was proclaimed an instant classic. Lars Eighner’s account of his descent into homelessness and his adventures on the streets has moved, charmed, and amused generations of readers. As Lars wrote, “When I began writing this account I was living under a shower curtain in a stand of bamboo in a public park. I did not undertake to write about homelessness, but wrote what I knew, as an artist paints a still life, not because he is especially fond of fruit, but because the subject is readily at hand.” 

Containing the widely anthologized essay “On Dumpster Diving,” Travels with Lizbeth is a beautifully written account of one man's experience of homelessness, a story of physical survival, and the triumph of the artistic spirit in the face of enormous adversity. In his unique voice—dry, disciplined, poignant, comic—Eighner celebrates the companionship of his dog, Lizbeth, and recounts their ongoing struggle to survive on the streets of Austin, Texas, and hitchhiking along the highways to Southern California and back.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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ONE
 
 
Austin to Tucson: Hitting the Road
Billy inelegantly brought his little black Scirocco about and drove back toward Austin. That car was Billy’s shibboleth; he never learned to pronounce its name although he was frequently corrected by parts dealers, his mechanic, and me. Never mind. In Billy’s mind it was a Porsche and that was the way he drove it.
There we were, Lizbeth the bitch and I, with a pile of gear I could carry only a few yards at a time, by the side of the road in what seemed to me to be a desolate area. I had not been to the desert yet.
At
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REVIEWS

Praise for Travels with Lizbeth

“The most eloquent description to date of what it is like to be homeless.” —San Diego Union-Tribune 

“Compelling…Mr. Eighner [is] a quirky guide into the homeless condition as he plunges on, through Miracle Miles, desert flea markets and dusty truck stops.” —The Wall Street Journal 

“If there's any justice in the world, [this book] should guarantee its author a roof over his head for the rest of his days.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The most eloquent description to date of what it is like to be homeless.” —San Diego Union-Tribune 

“Compelling…Mr. Eighner [is] a quirky guide into the homeless condition as he plunges on, through Miracle Miles, desert flea markets and dusty truck stops.” —The Wall Street Journal 

“If there's any justice in the world, [this book] should guarantee its author a roof over his head for the rest of his days.” —The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Eighner, Lars

  • LARS EIGHNER was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1988 he and his dog Lizbeth became homeless, and their experiences over the following three years were recorded in Travels with Lizbeth, which became a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, and includes the often-cited essay "On Dumpster Diving." His other works include numerous story collections and a comic novel. He now lives in Austin with his partner.

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Travels with Lizbeth

Three Years on the Road and on the Streets

Eighner, Lars

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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