Author, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic
Sam Quinones (Author): Sam Quinones (last name pronounced Kin-YOH-Ness) is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His latest book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury, 2015), for which he traveled across the United States.
Dreamland chronicles the roots of America’s epidemic of opiate addiction, nation’s deadliest drug scourge in its history. In it, Quinones recounts twin stories of drug marketing in the 21st Century: A pharmaceutical corporation flogs its legal new opiate prescription painkiller as nonaddictive. Meanwhile, immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin like pizza in the US, and take that system nationwide, riding a wave of addiction to prescription pills from coast to coast. The collision of those two forces has led to America's deadliest drug scourge in modern times.
The story is also an attempt to show how Americans’ desire to avoid pain, together with destruction of community, exaltation of the private, made the country especially vulnerable to addiction to opiates, the most isolating class of drugs we know as a species.
Dreamland won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015. It was also selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by Amazon.com, Slate.com, the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Entertainment Weekly, Audible, and in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business by Nobel economics laureate, Prof. Angus Deaton, of Princeton University. A Young Adult version of Dreamland was released in July of 2019.
Quinones is at work on a follow up to Dreamland, about the scourge of fentanyl, methamphetamine, as well as dispatches from grassroots efforts to combat the epidemic.
His first two highly acclaimed books grew from his 10 years living and working as a freelance writer in Mexico (1994-2004).