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The House That Made Me: Writers Reflect on the Places and People that Defined Them by [Jarrett, Grant]
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The House That Made Me: Writers Reflect on the Places and People that Defined Them Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 141 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"Many have searched their childhood home ­address using Google Earth. You will, too, after reading this exceptional collection of 19 essays by writers who located the satellite images of their dwellings, found anywhere from Iowa to Liberia. Editor Jarrett introduces the anthology as a 'hodgepodge of thoughts, sensations, and emotions an image brings.' A thread of sadness runs through the accounts as memories emerge of loud arguments, disappearing fathers, family violence, and whispers about not enough money. The charm of each piece is how the author balances that raw stress with recollections of the joys of youth. Antonya Nelson re­visits her mazelike childhood home with her siblings, who, after a few bottles of wine, decide to venture into their favorite nooks and crannies. Roof climbing is a particular passion recalled by Ru Freeman and Roy Kesey. What matters today is not the feat, but the dreams realized up on the roof. Porochista Khakpour, born in Tehran and raised in Los ­Angles, recalls “the dingbats,” the two-story ­apartment complexes with cheap rents and fancy names.
VERDICT: Slim and succinct, this exquisite compilation shows how the universal nature of childhood experiences trump both cultural and geographical differences.
Library Journal, starred review

Featured as an Elle magazine's "Trust Us" book, May 2016

"While each essay is a worthy and thought-provoking piece of craft, the true achievement is in the sum of these parts, a chorus of diverse experiences that work together to define 'home' in all of its possibilities.”
Shelf Awareness

"The essays strike a variety of tones, including curiosity, ambivalence, thoughtfulness, and earnestness. Some writers emphasize the conceit of looking at their old homes from the vantage point of a satellite. Ru Freeman and Jen Michalski, in their pieces, discuss what can be seen and what is missing in the pictures, as well as what is impossible to capture. Jeffery Renard Allen and Pamela Erens return to Chicago’s North Side and South Side, respectively, to capture different aspects of the city. Other writers take readers to California, Canada, New York, and Sri Lanka. Some reexamine their families, while others consider the fragility of memory. All of the essays show, in their own ways, how homes make us and how we attempt to make homes for ourselves, at least in memory. Some readers may well be inspired to take similar journeys into the past."
Publishers Weekly

"Jarrett has compiled a powerful and must-read collection of meditations on the meaning of home. Each essay in this diverse collection―with writings from rural America to war-torn Sri Lanka―transports the reader on a fresh and riveting journey into the hauntings and heartbreak of childhood. As a whole these varied voices come together in a kind of symphony, a harmonious reminder that individual stories illuminate the connection we all have to one another. Ultimately, these voices together transform this book into its own kind of shelter."
―Jennifer Percy, author of Demon Camp, a New York Times Notable Book

The House That Made Me is a revelatory investigation of home, that most beloved and fraught word―how home wields the power to shape us, undo us, remake us. How we carry it, how we let it go. The table of contents for The House That Made Me includes some of the finest writers working today, and the worlds that exist inside this tremendous anthology suggest contemporary literature has never been so vital.”
―Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me

Past Praise for . . .

Grant Jarrett's On Ways of Leaving

“Ruthlessly brilliant writing brings grace to a story smoldering in pain.”
―Kirkus Reviews

“... an outstanding and devastating new novel ...”
Independent Publisher

Alice Eve Cohen's On The Year My Mother Came Back

“I love, love, love this book. It’s so rich, so real and so moving … astonishingly wonderful―I was enthralled … You're a brilliant writer.”
―Caroline Leavitt, book critic for Boston Globe and People, and New York Times best-selling author of Pictures of You

“Fiercely brave and unflinchingly honest.”
The Brooklyn Rail

Kris Radish

“Radish's prose is a joy―energetic, attitudinal, often hilarious and perfectly suited to the anecdotal form.”

“Kris Radish creates characters that seek and the celebrate the discovery of...women's innate power.”
The Denver Post

Lee Upton's On The Tao of Humiliation: Stories, named one of the “best books of 2014” by Kirkus Reviews

“Masterful stories by a writer of great lyrical gifts. Upton focuses on personal relationships, especially the immediacy and estrangement that emerge from the intensity of family life … Upton specializes in ending her stories with epiphanies that can be searing in their poignancy. These 17 tales explore personal and familial relationships with both pathos and humor―and all are well worth reading.”
Kirkus Starred Review

“Poet, essayist, and fiction writer Upton’s stories are playful, full of clever allusions that are deftly presented … Upton’s story openings tend to be vivid; they’re great hooks … This is a smart and highly entertaining book.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Pamela Erens

“Everyone who has the good fortune to pick up one of Erens' (two) novels becomes a fan. Whether writing about teenagers at boarding school (The Virgins) or a loner at the end of his tether (The Understory), Erens has a gift for making you want to spend time in her characters' company. Then you want to scout her other fans to discuss your good fortune of discovering her talents.”
Reader’s Digest “23 Contemporary Writers You Should Have Read By Now”(2014)

Roy Kesey

“Kesey excels at evoking the geography of the country.”
―Jonathan Barnes, Literary Review (London)

“A near-direct descendant of Samuel Beckett.”
―Jonathan Messinger, Time Out Chicago

Ru Freeman's On Sal Mal Lane, and Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine

“Freeman never strays far from the neighborhood’s youngest inhabitants. They are wondrous to behold, with their intelligence, imagination and innocence. I don’t know that I’ve seen children more opulently depicted in fiction since Dickens.”
―Christina Garcia for the New York Times Book Review

“Ru Freeman has made a book unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s a great contribution to not only to the conversation about Palestine, but to the larger one about peace and justice.”
―Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Tim Johnston's Descent

“Outstanding . . . The days when you had to choose between a great story and a great piece of writing? Gone.”

“The story [Descent] unfolds brilliantly, always surprisingly . . .The magic of his prose equals the horror of Johnston’s story; each somehow enhances the other . . . Read this
astonishing novel.”
The Washington Post

About the Author

Grant Jarrett lives in New York City, where he earns his living as a writer, ghostwriter, editor, and musician. His work has appeared in the San Francisco Book Review, Eclectica Magazine, and numerous other publications. His first novel, Ways of Leaving, won the “Best New Fiction” category in the 2014 International Book Awards.

Product details

  • File Size: 2235 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Publisher: SparkPress (April 12, 2016)
  • Publication Date: April 12, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,244 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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