City life can be tough. Even for those who don’t live in the inner city or the sprawling suburb, small cities and towns of any population can seem a burden to some. This is the sphere of character exploration that author Karen Rosenkranz pondered when writing “City Quitters: An exploration of Post-Urban Life”. Just a couple episodes of survivalist and outdoor minimalists on the History Channel or even YouTube gives you a glimpse of this phenomenon. Indeed, going “off grid” is a popular search term and keyword used in Internet search traffic and online discussion.
The book begs a peculiar question, peculiar because we are organic entities living in organic space in time: Is it possible to lead a creative post-urban existence? Many romanticize living this lifestyle of unregulated freedom and personal creative space but many underestimate the physical, mental and emotional sacrifices and strains this lifestyle demands. In short, you have to be willing to give up notions of security and public safety nets, things that many often take for granted. The book attempts to answer the question of what lay beyond that image and articulation. Is it just fantasy or can it be possible to live a better, simpler life through rejecting urban culture?
The book consists of Individual narratives of creative professionals who decided to bet it all on rural living. A wave of those “migrating” to the countryside (as opposed to the opposite popular American trend of urbanizing) have settled in the countryside in search of “creativity, community, work, lifestyle, sustainability, art, design, food and nature”, according to an Amazon description.
The book will maintain its engagement with your short attention span with images showcasing the “most important aspects of their lifestyle”, it goes on, “from experimental communal living in a renaissance castle to ceramic production in the isolation of the desert.”
If you have an interest in this trend, definitely give the book the good-old fashioned college try.