Everything Lost Is Found Again – Dzanc Books

Everything Lost Is Found Again (cover)

Winner of the 2019 Bernard J. Brommel Award for Biography & Memoir

Winner of the 2017 Dzanc / Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize

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Funny and heartfelt, Everything Lost Is Found Again is a love-drunk ballad to Lesotho, the small, landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa, where Will McGrath lived for nearly two years. In Lesotho, McGrath finds a spirit of joyful absurdity and resolve, welcomed by people who take strangers’ hands as they walk down the road, people who—with sweetest face—drop the dirtiest jokes in the southern hemisphere. But Lesotho is also a place where shepherds exact Old Testament retribution, where wounded pride incites murder, and where families are devastated by the AIDS epidemic.

Driven by a spirit of openhearted cultural exchange, and reminiscent of Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country and Alexandra Fuller’s Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of ForgetfulnessEverything Lost Is Found Again brings humor and heart to pop ethnography—an off-kilter celebration of our common human identity.


“It’s been a while since I’ve fallen this hard for nonfiction. McGrath’s experiences among the charming, vibrant citizens of Lesotho and the wit, warmth, and writerly spark with which he puts them on the page make for a scrumptious literary chakalaka (see page 100).”

Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

“Subtle, witty, and well-observed, McGrath’s narrative is a chronicle of spiritual growth and a memorable love letter to the remote African kingdom that stole his heart. A warmly humane memoir.”

-Kirkus Reviews

“With astute sensitivity, a reporter’s eye, and a poet’s command of language, Will McGrath introduces us to so much more than a place. He situates us inside the small quiet moments of grace that define everyday lives. The writing is at once joyous and devastating, luminous and tender.”

Inara Verzemnieks, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Among the Living and the Dead

“This is a book in the best tradition of travel writing as it offers an outsider’s take on a culture with a genuine appreciation for cultural and social differences. Lesotho comes alive…an illuminating and enjoyable read that reminds readers of the essential oneness of humanity.”


“In dazzling prose and with humor both tender and sidesplitting, McGrath pulls off what I most adore about foreign reportage: he makes me care deeply about a place I’ve never been, makes me wish desperately that I too could visit the nation and share his experiences.”

-Rafe Bartholomew, former Grantland senior editor, author of Pacific Rims and Two and Two

“Who says there are no places left on earth to explore? In this charming memoir, Will McGrath traverses one of the world’s least-known countries – Lesotho, tiny and mountainous, grappling with AIDS but rich with storybook history and its own invincible spirit. Everything Lost Is Found Again is beautifully written, by turns moving and hilarious. It’s an enlightening adventure in the tradition of Patrick Leigh Fermor and V.S. Naipaul.”

-Tony Perrottet, author of Off the Deep End: Travels in Forgotten Frontiers




Infected Kin (co-authored w/ Ellen Block) – Rutgers University Press

Infected Kin Cover


“Drawing on the authors’ in-depth experience in the small, landlocked southern African country of Lesotho comes this gem of a book—at once funny and sad, inspiring and sobering—that conveys the social consequences of HIV through a focus on orphans and their care. Beginning with the simple but powerful premise that AIDS is a kinship disease, Infected Kin combines gripping narrative and astute analysis to tell human stories that both capture and enlighten the reader.”

–Daniel Jordan Smith, author of AIDS Doesn’t Show Its Face: Inequality, Morality, and Social Change in Nigeria

“This is a moving account of suffering, yes—but its riveting story includes joy and, above all, inspiration. The authors’ narrative of love, labor, and loss in southern Africa weaves the charms of poetic prose (McGrath) with the insights of social science (Block). Together, they offer a lament for global inequality in the 21st century, while also celebrating the human spirit.”
–Alma Gottlieb and Philip Graham, co-authors of Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa and Braided Worlds