About the Author
David Reynolds was born in London and educated at the LSE. He worked as a journalist and then in book publishing, and was one of the founders of Bloomsbury Publishing. He is trained as a teacher of literacy to adults and is part of the team that produces Quick Reads, a series for adults who find reading difficult. He is the author of Swan River: Memoir of a Family Mystery, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Ackerley Prize for Autobiography and Memoir, Slow Road to Brownsville and Slow Road to San Francisco which was published in August 2020.
His interest in North America began when he was a small boy, allowed to watch TV western series, such as Hopalong Cassidy and The Cisco Kid on television while eating his dinner. As well as a knife and fork, he kept cap guns on either side his plate, ready to shoot at the baddies.
As a teenager, David Reynolds became fascinated by the disappearance of his long-dead grandfather. As an adult, he learned that his grandfather had gone to Swan River, a remote town in Manitoba in 1905, having lived as a vagrant on the streets of London since 1902. In 1999 David travelled to Swan River and learned much about the fate of his grandfather. The story is told in Swan River.
On a subsequent visit to Swan River, a local friend made Reynolds aware that Highway 83, a road that leads south from Swan River to the city of Brandon, continues south to the US border and then on south for some 2000 miles to the Mexican border, ending at Brownsville, Texas. Reynolds then spent four weeks driving slowly down this road, stopping frequently and talking to locals. Slow Road to Brownsville is the story of that journey.
Having crossed the United States from north to south on a single, old, two-lane road, Reynolds decided to cross from east to west on a similar old road, Highway 50. Again driving slowly, he took 46 days to make the 3000-mile trip from Ocean City, Maryland to San Francisco. The trip is described in Slow Road to San Francisco.