Wayfaring Stranger: A Musical Journey in the American South (Hardcover)

Wayfaring Stranger: A Musical Journey in the American South By Emma John Cover Image
Available to SHIP now; STORE PICKUP in 7-10 days


Can you feel nostalgic for a life you've never known?

Suffused with her much-loved warmth and wit, Emma John's memoir follows her moving and memorable journey to master one of the hardest musical styles on earth - and to find her place in an alien world.

Emma had fallen out of love with her violin when a chance trip to the American South introduced her to bluegrass music. Classically trained, highly strung and wedded to London life, Emma was about as country as a gin martini. So why did it feel like a homecoming?

Answering that question takes Emma deep into the Appalachian mountains, where she uncovers a hidden culture that confounds every expectation - and learns some emotional truths of her own.

About the Author

Emma John is the award-winning author of Following On: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession and Terrible Cricket, which was named the 2017 Wisden Book of the Year. She writes for the Guardian and in 2008 was the first woman ever to win a Sports Journalism Award.

Praise For…

Wayfaring Stranger goes beyond being an entertaining, informative book about a niche musical genre: it becomes the story of John's personal mission to shake off a kind of existential stiffness - an inhibiting perfectionism - to rediscover not just her passion for music, but also for life . . . Books like this work best when they manage to pull in even the most casual reader, saturating them in the colours, emotions and sensations of hidden subcultures, and John more than delivers—Observer

There is a touch of Bill Bryson to her escapades. She is the well-meaning outsider stumbling through unfamiliar surroundings. She knows how to tell a good joke, and how to laugh at herself—The Times

John chronicles in lively prose the setbacks, breakthroughs and devilish difficulties encountered . . . More than a memoir, Wayfaring Stranger is a valuable contribution to musicology and an informative tribute to a musical culture . . . an excellent Bluegrass primer—Times Literary Supplement

Product Details
ISBN: 9781474606844
ISBN-10: 1474606849
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication Date: August 25th, 2020
Pages: 336
Language: English