Sam Quinones 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 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 United States, 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. Dreamland won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015.