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Davy Rothbart - "The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas"

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By Davy Rothbart

"I’ve always drifted around the country a lot, and perhaps what I love most about this kind of travel are the brief, fleeting moments of crossing paths with strangers—-a truck-stop waitress, kids at a basketball court, a guy who’s broken down on the side of the road and needs a jump. These little exchanges, I think of them as FOUND moments; just like the FOUND notes, you get a little glimpse into someone else’s life, enough to make you wonder about the rest of their story. I’m real big into writing stories, and a lot of the time it’s a FOUND note or one of these tiny moments-—a stranger I’ve blundered across for an instant—-that sparks an idea for what I want to write about.

"A few years ago, I was driving on a small two-lane highway through rural Kansas when I saw a bizarre and riveting sight—-a teenage kid had slung a surfboard between two dead tractors in the middle of a cornfield and was balanced on top, like he was practicing how to surf. Here he was, thousands of miles from either coast, the sun setting in glorious colors behind him—-I was mesmerized and sat there watching for ten minutes or so, and then I drove away; I don’t think he even saw me. But that image of him surfing in the cornfields stuck with me, and my curiosity about him kept growing more intense, so finally I decided to write a story about him, imagining what his life was like and what might have happened had our paths intersected. I called the story The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas (Montana is the name of a tiny town in Kansas) and it’s the title story of my new book. I hope you'll check it out."

Arthur Miller
"Davy writes with his whole heart. These stories are crushing."

Ira Glass
"I believe in Davy. He's a force to be reckoned with."

The Los Angeles Times
"Funny, flashy... a great whirlwind..."

Entertainment Weekly
"A quirky, perceptive volume..."

Judy Blume
"It's always exciting to discover a talented new writer. Davy writes with such energy, wit, and heart."

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