My editor at the Boston Globe, Ande Zellman, asked me to write a column for the Sunday magazine defining the character of the region. Since I was from the Midwest and found New England strange and fascinating, I grabbed the assignment and wrote the column for a year, choosing a different strange and fascinating New Englandism (for instance, the use of the word 'wicked'; the New England boiled dinner; the wretchedly incompetent driving) to analyze each week. The week I wrote my last column (I was about to move to New York, so it seemed like a good time to bow out) a small publisher interested in collecting the columns into a book contacted me. It was a great way to end the year and leave New England.
"Orlean notes the quirks, oddities and characters who lend a distinctive charm to New England...investigated in a hilarious fashion."