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Skeptic's Guide To Writers' Houses (2011)

by Anne Trubek(Favorite Author)
3.41 of 5 Votes: 4
1283896524 (ISBN13: 9781283896528)
University of Pennsylvania Press
review 1: Perhaps this book should have been titled The Pessimist's Guide to Writers' Houses. As a director of a writer's house (Andalusia, Home of Flannery O'Connor), it would be easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to this book and spew obscenities at Trubek, but I will resist. Honestly, she makes some very good, although painful, observations about literary landmarks and the failed attempts to preserve and maintain them. She has a tendency to make it a little too personal at times, perhaps so the reader can appreciate that the author's jaundiced eye could be attributable to her own circumstances at the time she was visiting a particular writer's house (nasty divorce, single-motherness, financial woes, sore toes, etc.). We also get the vague feeling that Trubek may be a person wh... moreo would rather be making a living as a writer and teaching on the side, rather than the other way around -- her commentary on the past lives of writers and the struggles to maintain their "places" then and now could reflect her own professional frustrations. But in the final two chapters, Trubek does drive home some very good points, mainly that a great writer's work should be her or his primary legacy, and not some fake manuscripts (typewriter replica in our case)on a period desk (a simple table in our case -- a little embarrassing, I admit). I think Trubek doesn't quite understand the effect that these "places" have on some readers and devoted fans. In fact, she implies that most visitors to writers' homes will be disappointed by what they find. I can only respond by saying that I hope that isn't the case at Andalusia.
review 2: First let me say that I came by this book through the Goodreads First Reads program and I'm glad I did.Trubek takes herself (and us) on a journey around the United States to visit the "homes" of several American authors. Her initial feelings about this whole project are obvious in her words and the underlying cynicism about the meaning of these homes -- what they meant in the lives of the authors they represent and to the tourists who visit. But along the way the tenor of her narrative changes as does her feeling about the whole task she has set for herself. Instead of meaningless places she has begun to see history and signs of past life, reasons for readers of the present to enjoy visiting. The book is a growth experience and encompasses much soul searching about literature and meaning.Reading the book becomes a joy as we also discover what the author discovers and can decide whether we will someday follow her footsteps. She has provided a list of authors homes in the U.S. should one wish to give it a try. less
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What an interesting idea and I liked the title! Should be an interesting and enjoyable book.
Why do we restore and visit author's homes? Here is one person's experience.
I have some vacation planning to do...
A little too skeptic in my opinion.
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