Perishable Cover


A Memoir

By Dirk Jamison

Chicago Review Press, Hardcover, 9781556525995, 212pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2006

Fascinatingly disturbing, this memoir chronicles seven years in the life of a distinctly unordinary American family. In 1973, Dirk Jamison's father started having a midlife crisis that never ended, and after purposefully losing his construction job, he moved his family to a ski resort and started feeding them from dumpsters in an effort to reject money and all its trappings. They were never homeless, never desperately poor, but they lived on garbage. While Jamison struggled with adolescence, he faced a father who valued freedom more than anything, an overweight Mormon mother, and a cruel sister who delighted in physical abuse. Hilarious and horrifying, this heartbreaking account tells the strange story of the anti-American dream.

About the Author
Dirk Jamison has contributed work to "LA Weekly," "Self," "Utne Reader," and on PRI's "This American Life." His documentary film about his father, who still dumpster-dives at the age of 71, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

Praise For Perishable

"Compelling."  Utne Magazine

"Engrossing and poignant, you'll want the childhood to end but the words to continue."  Franz Wisner, author, Honeymoon with My Brother

"A wicked, wonderfully crafted memoir. . . Recollections in a fresh voicewith sharp teeth."  Kirkus Reviews 

"Compelling."  Maclean’s

"An intensely relatable picture of the roads we travel into adulthood."  Bookslut

 "This month’s must-read memoir."  Zink Magazine

"As humorous as it is heartbreaking"  Baltimore City Paper 

"Engaging."  Pages