Zero to Fifty (Hardcover)

A Lifetime in the Driver's Seat

By Kate Lake

Algonquin Books, 9781565123427, 116pp.

Publication Date: May 2, 2003

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Cars. In America, they are with us from birth, often giving us our first taste of real freedom, ever changing and multiplying: the family Plymouth begets the Beetle begets the Volvo begets the Porsche, and so on until that long black car with the funny curtains takes us to our final rest stop.

Kate Lake-artist, writer, gearhead-understands the romance of cars. In an extraordinarily varied life, she's owned, driven, repaired, coveted, and written about many of the most famous (and the most infamous) cars of our time. Here, in an illustrated memoir, she presents the cars-and the story-of her life, in loving and faithful detail: from her first memory of her parents' big gray Plymouth sitting in the driveway to the '57 Cadillac convertible her father drove after the divorce to the Chevy Nomad in which she lost her virginity to the 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle that she lusted over but never got to drive to the Dodge Dart her brother was tinkering with the summer that he died, and all the others great and small. She tells us about the divergent roads on which she's traveled, how she moved from place to place, romance to romance, until finding herself happily behind the wheel of a 2001 Audi Quattro TT, crusing her way through midlife.

With the wit and resourcefulness of a woman who knows her way around love and transmissions, Kate Lake has found the perfect vehicle for recounting the story of her life and for reminding us about our own love affair with cars.

About the Author

Kate Lake is a writer, illustrator, and designer living in Seattle with an Audi.