'The Change: My Great American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour' by Lori Soderlind

BY Audrey Deng, June 11, 2020

The Change: My Great American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour, a book by alumna Lori Soderlind ’97 was released on June 10. This is her second book.

Published by the University of Wisconsin PressThe Change is a memoir about Soderlind’s decision to embark on a cross-country trip with her dog following a sort of midlife crisis.

“Embarking on a year-long sabbatical from teaching journalism and leaving her partner, Jessica, behind in New York, the self-described a perimenopausal lesbian Soderlind packs up her elderly dog, Colby, and a travel trailer and hits the road with a loose itinerary to see how some cities, like herself past their prime, have adapted to their new existence,” according to Publishers Weekly.

Soderlind goes to Buffalo, NY; Titusville, PA; Rockford, Ill; and Petersburg, KY. The quality that attracts Sodelind to these cities is their former glory. However, it isn’t until Soderlind returns to Manhattan to celebrate her 50th birthday that she finally arrives at an epiphanic reckoning.

Publishers Weekly praises Soderlind’s prose, calling it a delight when she recounts being robbed by a polite burglar in Louisville, KY. “In straightforward prose and with a sharp eye for detail, Soderlind satisfies with a charm of her own.”

This book also received praise from Lucy Jane Bledsoe, author of Lava Falls, who writes, “Every good story is about longing, and Soderlind's The Change plunges into that aching universe from the first page. In pursuit of her own lost heart, she sets out on a road trip, and along the way beguiling obstacles and complications are tossed in her path, making this a funny and smart story of two midlife crises, the country's and the author's."

Lori Soderlind is also the author of Chasing Montana, a memoir. She is currently the Director of Manhattanville College’s Creative Writing MFA program. Soderlind is an award-winning essayist and journalist. Her essay “66 Signs” is included in Norton’s anthology of Best Creative Nonfiction. She has taught for the past 20 years in the areas of journalism, fiction, nonfiction, and memoir writing at schools including Columbia University, SUNY Albany, Western Connecticut State University, and Norwalk Community College, where she ran the Communications Arts Program and chaired the Humanities Department.

The Change is available for pre-order