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Mess: One Man's Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act Paperback – August 2, 2016
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“An absorbing look at a mysterious compulsion.”
“In his droll, engaging memoir,…[Yourgrau] writes with self-mocking humor as he embarks on a project to get rid of his clutter once and for all.”
- Wall Street Journal
“Terrifically funny…What can we say: Hoarders seem to be hot.”
- USA Today
“Yourgrau sets out to understand the literal and emotional weight of the objects we save…[A] gorgeous writer.”
- New York Times Book Review
“Battling his hoarding proclivities with aplomb, Yourgrau documents his winding journey to unpack his home and mind.”
- O, The Oprah Magazine
“Mess is Barry Yourgrau’s autobiography by way of neurosis, a twenty-first-century version of the Confessions of Zeno. Sometimes shocking and frequently self-mocking, it charts the tough negotiation between shame and fixation, between clinging to the past and moving forward, between being devoured by one’s demons and facing them down.”
- Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree
“All of us who live―or have lived―in unmentionable and unspeakable abodes owe it to ourselves to have our anti-domestic pathologies turned into something as funny and charming as Mess.”
- Lawrence Osborne, author of The Forgiven
“A funny, smart, and moving memoir about the accumulation of STUFF: what it means to us, why we keep it, and how we deal with our personal ‘collections.’ (Great book, btw.)”
- Roz Chast, author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
“My favorite Bohemian unpacks his life, and his heart. I will never look at clutter the same way again. I love this book!”
- Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure
“Barry Yourgrau is America’s Kafka, if Kafka were hysterically funny, weirdly relatable, and had just a little bit of a hoarding problem. Mess is a total Yourgrau feast―I wept with laughter (but then why couldn’t I throw away my Kleenex?).”
- Sandra Tsing Loh, author of The Madwoman in the Volvo
About the Author
Writer-performer Barry Yourgrau is the author of acclaimed books of brief fiction, including Wearing Dad's Head and The Sadness of Sex, in whose film version he starred. He’s appeared on MTV and NPR, and written for the New York Times, Huffington Post, Paris Review, and Vice, among others. Born in South Africa, he lives in New York and Istanbul.
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I keep the wisdom I gained through this book at the front of my mind, and my house has been cleaner for it since.