Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of Their Own [NOOK Book]


In Home, eighteen of our finest writers evoke different rooms--from their pasts, their present, or simply their imaginations--in order to investigate the ways in which homes contain our lives. The results are touching, provocative, and sometimes hilarious. And since a portion of the editors' proceeds will go to organizations that help the homeless, Home is really where the heart is. Contributors include: Lynda Barry, Richard Bausch, Tony Earley, James Finn Garner, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Allan Gurganus, Colin ...
See more details below
Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of Their Own

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


In Home, eighteen of our finest writers evoke different rooms--from their pasts, their present, or simply their imaginations--in order to investigate the ways in which homes contain our lives. The results are touching, provocative, and sometimes hilarious. And since a portion of the editors' proceeds will go to organizations that help the homeless, Home is really where the heart is. Contributors include: Lynda Barry, Richard Bausch, Tony Earley, James Finn Garner, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Allan Gurganus, Colin Harrison, Kathryn Harrison, Gish Jen, Karen Karbo, Alex Kotlowitz, Clint McCown, Susan Power, Esmeralda Santiago, Mona Simpson, Jane Smiley, Sallie Tisdale, and Bailey White.

"Unforgettable...These pages are filled with the kind of details that etch a childhood place into the deep recesses of memory, that distinguish the sensual life of one family from another."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Nineteen of America's finest writers shape a "home" of essays, each contributing a different "room" to a collection that gives readers a spirited and eclectic look at the ideals and realities of family, childhood, memory, and the simple notion of shelter. Contributors include Bailey White, Jane Smiley, Donald Katz, Lynda Barry, and Mona Simpson. Half of the editors' proceeds will be donated to organizations that assist the homeless.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Fiffers (Fifty Ways to Help Your Community) have collected 19 engaging essays, 15 of which are published here for the first time and each of which evokes a specific room that fostered its author's concept of home. Many of the pieces deal with childhood, such as Richard Bausch's bittersweet memories of his great-grandmother's porch (``The Porch'') and ``The Teen's Bedroom,'' Alex Kotlowitz's touching description of the small back bedroom he shared with his brother in a ground-floor Manhattan apartment. In ``The Living Room,'' Henry Louis Gates Jr. describes how the room in which his family gathered during the 1950s and '60s to watch TV gave him his first understanding of the civil rights movement and brought him images of African Americans through sitcoms and movies. Jane Smiley contributes a humorous tribute to the importance of hot baths enjoyed in a variety of bathrooms. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Eighteen well-known contemporary authors such as Bailey White, Jane Smiley, and Clint McCown recount their experiences in a meaningful room in their lives. Edited by the Fiffers (50 Simple Ways To Help Your Community, Doubleday, 1994), this collection explores personal memories of childhood, both sad and humorous, along with the relationship of shelter to home. Sally Tisdale's "The Basement" tells of trips to her grandmother's when she and her siblings would have to stay in the basement and play with an old scooter while upstairs the adults socialized and played cards. Susan Power's "The Attic: A Family Museum" uses a visit to the attic with her mother as a frame on which to stretch ancestral tales. The book's charm lies in its evocative quality and the sense of continuity it imparts to the home and family, especially in this era of homelessness and shifting family arrangements. Strongly recommended for all readers.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
School Library Journal
YAIn this engaging collection of stories and essays, 18 contemporary American writers remember distinctive rooms from their pasts. Richard Bausch recalls a grandmother's birthday party on the wonderful porch of an old Victorian house in Washington, D.C. and turns this reverie into reflections on life and death. Vivid details fill these mini-memoirs. Esmeralda Santiago writes about poverty and terrors found in her closets in the barrio. Black-and-white television in the 1950s living room became for Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the arena for the drama of race. Jane Smiley sought solitude and refuge in bathrooms. Lynda Barry's "The Teenage Bedroom" will make a terrific booktalk. These evocative pieces can inspire students of creative writing and teachers of the essay and short story. They could be an antidote for classes studying the plight of the homeless, and will be a great pleasure to YAs living in and shaped by homespace. Most of the selections have not been previously published. Tiny, charming illustrations appear at the beginning of each chapter of this lovely book.Betta Hedlund, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Each of the 18 writers in this collection evokes a room he or she lived or lives in (or in one case, conjures up) in voices ranging from the comic to the haunting. Contributors include Lynda Barry, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Gish Jen, Mona Simpson, and Sallie Tisdale. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Mary Carroll
Credit the Fiffers--authors of "Fifty Ways to Help Your Community" (1994)--with a terrific idea, implemented well. In "Home", 19 authors explore the links between physical, intellectual, and emotional space, between homes and "home." For Richard Bausch and Tony Earley, a porch and a hallway inspire multigenerational sagas. Esmeralda Santiago describes a childhood's worth of closets and closetlike spaces. Spouses Colin and Kathryn Harrison focus respectively on the master bedroom and the children's bedroom of their adult lives together. Jane Smiley celebrates bathrooms; Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the living room and its television set; Gish Jen, the many functions of the garage. Other contributors (Karen Karbo, Sallie Tisdale, Alex Kotlowitz, Lynda Barry, Susan Power, James Finn Garner, Clint McCown, Bailey White, and "Afterword" author Allan Gurganus) share their own special corners. Some of those spaces--some of those memories--will resonate for every reader. A wonderful collection of mini-memoirs; what's more, half the editors' proceeds will go to homeless-assistance groups!
Rich Nichols
When we think of our childhood, and of our families, we are also often thinking of the place we knew as home, the setting for the rituals and dramas that define a family. In Home Sharon and Steve Fiffer have assembled original essays by 18 contemporary American writers, each a recollection of some one room from their past. Not surprisingly, these rooms have come to carry a good deal of symbolic weight. The naturalist Sallie Tisdale writes about the basement in her grandmother's house, clean but haphazardly piled with all the debris of past life that her grandmother could not bear to discard. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the scholar and the author most recently of Colored People, A Memoir, remembers his parent's living room, and more particularly the television set that dominated it, drawing the family together each night, functioning like a fireplace in the proverbial New England winter.

Not all of the essays deal with the authors' childhoods, though most do. Colin and Kathryn Harrison, husband and wife (both are novelists), contribute a set of nicely matching essays, he on their bedroom and the manner in which their small children have made the room their own, she on the children's room nearby. The novelist Susan Power contributes a moving piece about the extraordinary things brought to light when she and her mother explored her grandmother's attic, discovering letters and journals a century old, releasing "a legion of ghosts, a chain of lives." Mona Simpson recreates the kitchen in her grandmother's house (in further testament to our unsettled times, many of the middle-aged writers in the collection spent at least part of their childhood living with grandparents). Jane Smiley meditates on the qualities that go to make a comfortable bathroom. The novelist Clint McCown writes about the events played out around the front door of the family home, and makes an essential point about all of these pieces: a particular setting gives us a frame to set our family in, a way "to call them all together at a place in time."

One of the pleasures of an anthology is the way in which the voices play off against one another. One of the drawbacks is the inevitable unevenness of any collection. Both points apply to Home, but even given the cryptic or fragmentary nature of some of the essays, the book is often enough sad or haunting or funny or startling to repay a reading. --Patheon

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307758811
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/3/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

Introduction: From the Sixth Stair
The Porch 3
The Hallway 21
The Living Room 48
The Dining Room 58
The Kitchen 72
The Basement 80
The Master Bedroom 91
The Bathroom 106
The Closet 116
The Children's Room 130
The Boys' Room 144
The Teenage Bedroom (Except It's About a Boy's Room) 153
The Attic: A Family Museum 158
The Workroom, or, There Are Other Tools Besides the Hammer 172
The Garage 187
The Storm Door 198
The Garden 213
Afterword 221
About the Contributors 229
Acknowledgments 237
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)