51 pages 1 hour read

Bill Bryson

One Summer: America, 1927

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2013

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Key Figures

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is the author of more than a dozen books, including many bestsellers. He writes about history, language, science, and other topics. He has written most extensively on the United States and Great Britain, where he holds dual citizenship. Some of his most famous books are A Short History of Nearly Everything and Mother Tongue. The first is a synthetic work of popular science, and the latter is about the development of the English language. His autobiographical A Walk in the Woods, about hiking the Appalachian Trail with a friend, was adapted into a film starring Robert Redford as Bryson. Bryson announced in 2020 that he was retiring from writing.

As a narrator in One Summer, Bryson typically remains removed from its storylines. In operating as an objective narrator, as opposed to inserting himself into the narrative, Bryson develops and maintains a sense of authority and trust with his readers. If he were to insert his opinions, it would compromise the sense of soothsaying of his work, but by maintaining a position outside of it, he feels almost omniscient.

Bryson departs from this approach in the Epilogue, in which he relates his visit to the Smithsonian Institution.