Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of Their Ownby Sharon Sloan Fiffer, Steve Fiffer
In Home, eighteen of our finest writers evoke different roomsfrom their pasts, their present, or simply their imaginationsin 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
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
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.08(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.03(d)
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