The Banana Sculptor, the Purple Lady, and the All-Night Swimmer: Hobbies, Collecting, and Other Passionate Pursuits

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9780743201223: The Banana Sculptor, the Purple Lady, and the All-Night Swimmer: Hobbies, Collecting, and Other Passionate Pursuits
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A humorous study of American leisure explores a wide variety of unusual activities and hobbies, from swimming the Great Lakes to growing bonsai trees. 35,000 first printing.

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Deep down, people are weird. Searching for those whose weirdness expresses itself through art, sport, religion, and other relatively normal pursuits, writers Susan Sheehan and Howard Means found 40 strangely compelling stories, recounted in the wonderfully titled The Banana Sculptor, the Purple Lady, and the All-Night Swimmer. One man's ambition is to eat at every McDonald's in the United States; a young woman has won more than 3,000 ribbons at the huge Iowa State Fair. The authors go beyond simple believe-it-or-not reporting, instead interviewing each of their subjects to tease out their motivations and the consequences of their passions. One gentleman, whose aim is to swim across each of the Great Lakes, admits that his goals don't permit him to have a family or much social interaction, but he seems genuinely satisfied with his purpose in life. Much of the book is told in the subjects' own words, which offer insights into the pride and humility, the genius and madness of these singular individuals. The book may not inspire the kind of zeal it takes to carve a life-sized Last Supper, but it will help readers appreciate the weirdness to be found in ordinary people. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Susan Sheehan is the author of seven books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Is There No Place on Earth for Me? She has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1961 and has written for The New York Times and Architectural Digest, where she is a contributing writer. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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9781416575207: The Banana Sculptor, the Purple Lady, and the All-Night Swimmer: Hobbies, Collecting, and Other Passionate Pursuits

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ISBN 10:  1416575200 ISBN 13:  9781416575207
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2007
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