When the New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead relocated to her birth city, London, with her family in the summer of 2018, she was both fleeing the political situation in America and seeking to expose her son to a wider world. With a keen sense of what she’d given up as she left New York, her home of thirty years, she tried to knit herself into the fabric of a changed London. The move raised poignant questions about place: What does it mean to leave the place you have adopted as home and country? And what is the value and cost of uprooting yourself?
In a deft mix of memoir and reportage, drawing on literature and art, recent and ancient history, and the experience of encounters with individuals, environments and landscapes in New York City and in England, Mead artfully explores themes of identity, nationality and inheritance. She recounts her time in the coastal town of Weymouth, where she grew up; her dizzying first years in New York where she broke into journalism; the rich process of establishing a new home for her dual-national son in London. Along the way, she gradually reckons with the complex legacy of her parents. Home/Land is a stirring inquiry into how to be present where we are, while never forgetting where we have been.