DIRT: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House

DIRT: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House

DIRT: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House

DIRT: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House


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This is a collection to which everyone can relate: a multidimensional look at the universal challenge of keeping our stuff, our dwellings, and our personal space clean and uncluttered. How we feel about keeping house speaks volumes about who we are, our roots, relationships, and our outlook on life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580052610
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 04/14/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mindy Lewis is the author of Life Inside: A Memoir (Atria Books 2002, Washington Square Press 2003), which was named a Book of the Year by the American Journal of Nursing, an ELLE magazine “Must Read”, and received a starred Kirkus review. Her essays have been published in Newsweek, Lilith, Poets & Writers, and Body & Soul magazines, as well as anthologies. She enjoys leaving the creative clutter in her Upper West Side apartment to teach workshops in memoir, nonfiction, and cross-genre writing at The Writer's Voice, annual seminars at Empire State College, and recently taught an undergraduate course in writing nonfiction prose at Brooklyn College. She has given readings, panels and presentations at a variety of colleges, universities, and conferences. Lewis lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Foreword Penelope Green vii

Dirt: An Introduction Mindy Lewis xi

I Family Dirt 1

My Dirty Little Secret Sally Koslow 5

No Elves in the Night Joyce Maynard 11

I Don't Know What to Do With You Lisa Selin Davis 21

Family Heirloom Rebecca Walker 29

Country Living Brian Gerber 33

Ba'lebusteh Mindy Greenstein 37

Clean Fights Patty Dann 43

II Dust Of Generations 47

Windows Kathleen Crisci 51

Dirty Work Ann Hood 61

The Beauty of Help Kyoko Mori 69

Clutter Karen Salyer McElmurray 79

Dust Markie Robson-Scott 87

A Clean Well-Cluttered Place Lisa Solod Warren 93

III Down & Dirty 101

Dirty Nostalgia Alissa Quart 105

A Portrait of Ten Bathrooms Sonya Huber 113

Keeping It on the O/C Thaddeus Rutkowski 123

Adventures in Fluff Teena Apeles 129

Cleaning Up Nancy Stiefel 137

Abhorring a Vacuum Mindy Lewis 141

The Mess at Midlife Rand Richards Cooper 151

IV Into/Out of the Closet 159

Transitional Objects Louise DeSalvo 163

Closet Fantasies Mimi Schwartz 171

Buddha in the Closet Katy Brennan 175

Spring Cleaning Mira Bartók 183

Hungry Heart Branka Ruzak 191

V Other People's Dirt 199

The Color of Cinnamon Janice Eidus 203

We're Tired, She's Hired Kayla Cagan 209

Disinfect to Protect Jessica Shines 213

Cleaning Ambivalence Julianne Malveaux 221

A Clean House, a Sad Home Michael Hill 231

The Intimate Lives of Houses Louise Rafkin 235

Ecstatically Cleaning the Toilet Nancy Peacock 239

The Walden Pond Cleaning Service Richard Goodman 245

VI A Clean New World 249

Waxing Poetic Laura Shaine Cunningham 253

Sweet Sheets Juliet Eastland 259

Green, if Not Clean Pamela Paul 263

The Road to Vacuum Glory K. M. Lyons 269

TheHouse We Keep, the Home We Make Rebecca McClanahan 275

About the Contributors 283

About the Author 293

Acknowledgments 295

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