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American Writers at Home [Hardcover]

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Item Number 261903  
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Item description for American Writers at Home by J. D. McClatchy & Erica Lennard...

Collects modern and period photographs and literary portraits of the homes of such writers as Frederick Douglass, Eudora Welty, and Robert Frost; and discusses how their living space reflected their personalities and influenced their writings.

Publishers Description
American Writers at Home affords an unprecedented opportunity to visit the private homes where our greatest writers crafted their masterpieces. In the process, it opens a window onto the writer's life that will forever change the way you read. As he wrote Moby-Dick, Herman Melville imagined that his study had become a whaling ship's cabin. In pencil tracings still visible today, William Faulkner plotted the intricate webs of his fiction on his study walls. In these and myriad other ways, the imaginations of the twenty-one writers profiled in this book transformed their surroundings, even as those surroundings shaped the character and context of their classic works. The photographic and literary portraits in this book reveal as never before how important place - a sense of home - has been in the creation of our greatest writing.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 10.25" Height: 12.75"
Weight:   3.84 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 4, 2004
Publisher   Library of America
ISBN  1931082758  
ISBN13  9781931082754  

Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 10:45.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About J. D. McClatchy & Erica Lennard

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! J. D. McClatchy is the author of seven previous collections of poetry and of three collections of prose. He has edited numerous other books, including" The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetr"y, and has written a number of opera libretti that have been performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, and elsewhere. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, where he served as president from 2009 to 2012. McClatchy teaches at Yale University and is editor of "The Yale Review."

"From the Hardcover edition."

J. D. McClatchy currently resides in the state of New York. J. D. McClatchy was born in 1945.

J. D. McClatchy has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
  2. Library of America

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Architectural
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
5Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Interior Design > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > General

Reviews - What do customers think about American Writers at Home?

An insight into how some American writers lived  Feb 12, 2008
This beautifully illustrated hardback book would be a wonderful library addition for anybody that loves all forms of literature and also biographies of famous writers.

This book was well researched by J.D. McClatchy and wonderfully photographed by Erica Lennard. And for once, it's so nice to read a book in which the photos go hand-in-hand with the prose and descriptions.

As stated by other reviewers, this book includes a short biography of many famous writers, such as: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Wm Faulkner, Louisa May Alcott and many more.

The author then visited all the places that each author has lived, and has shown the reader the rooms (& accessories) that made each home so special to each writer.

Many of these rooms and writing accessories might surprise the readers, since after reading some of the authors' famous works, one would think that each author/poet had created such amazing literary works in the most inspiring and comfortable surroundings. Not so.... because when you look at each photograph, the reader may notice that some of the rooms in which the authors wrote, looked rather dark and lonely and cold (also, some of the furniture looks so uncomfortable) . In addition, many of the authors/poets wrote their famous works snuggled in their beds, (not even on a desk & chair)! Thus, J.D. McClatchy showed the reader each bedroom that the author slept in, or wrote in, and sometimes even lived in. Through these photographs, the reader can imagine what it must have been like for these famous writers to create their famous poems or short stories or novels.

It was so interesting to read and visually see how each author/poet viewed their writing experience. For example, if a writer needed to be surrounded by gardens, then J.D. McClatchy made sure that chapter included photos of the author's yards. Or, if an author preferred to pace back and forth outside on their porch, then J.D. McClatchy made sure to include photos of that special porch. Or, if an author liked to eat a big breakfast before beginning to write, then of course, this book would include photos of the kitchen and eating nook.

I am going to refer to this book often, so that the next time I re-read THE SUN ALSO RISES or AGE OF INNOCENCE (for example), I can imagine how the author felt during that writing experience.

Gain Insight Into Favorite Authors  Jan 27, 2007
I love visiting historic homes and especially author's homes like Cross Creek (Rawlings), the rowhouse in Baltimore (Poe) and on Prince Edward Island (L. M. Montgomery). Now this book can take me to other homes for that special insight into favorite authors. I particularly like seeing the photos of their writing spaces. For some it's a handsome desk, while another worked at a worn wooden table. Just being able to picture where Hemingway spent his days in Key West or Emily Dickinson lived her quiet life, adds dimension to their writing.
Although this book is not unique in covering this topic, it gives a quality tour of the homes of 21 writers. Other titles that might intrigue you are Writer's Houses and the book, Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of Their Own.
For each author, you get a brief background on that person and the house. There are photos, a listing of visiting hours, phone numbers and web sites.
Going Calling on the Authors of Our American Classics  Aug 2, 2005
You unlikely would read it cover to cover. Instead, like the houses it explores, you would pop in for an occasional visit. And such wonderful visits author J.D. McClatchy and photographer Erica Lennard provide. Their words and pictures share similarities-soft and gentle in color yet detailed and realistic in portrayals so vivid you feel like a guest awaiting your host(ess) to step into the room and greet you. Poet McClatchy has woven details of the authors' biographies into a fabric of words about a central pattern of the homes where they lived and wrote. The 21 homes you will visit range from the austere farm house of Robert Frost to the Victorian elegance of Mark Twain's mansion to Hemmingway's Key West estate. As you travel from home to home-including those of Alcott, Dickenson, Emerson, Irving, Longfellow, Melville, and Welty-you travel, too, through time, from when pen and ink were the primary tools of authors into the era of the manual typewriter, but not beyond. McClatchy and Lennard have given us a romantic sense of simpler times and of the lives of the men and women who wrote our Nobel and Pulitzer winning classics, mostly while sitting at simple desks and tables. Surprisingly, many of them wrote in their bedrooms, perhaps further proof that really good writing comes from those who shorten the distance between an arduous task and creative rest. This book would have a proper home on the coffee table to the classroom.

-- Lowell Forte, Cupertino CA
All About Writing Space With Wonderful Photographs  Feb 22, 2005
This is a very unusual and wonderful book that covers the working environment of American writers. The oldest writer in the book is Washington Irving who lived almost 200 years ago. The author has researched the environment and writing space of famous writers. This book looks at how the living & working conditions of the writers impact on their works. The book includes gorgeous photographs of the homes and writing spaces of the many writers covered in the book.
Space and Writing  Dec 8, 2004
I found this book to be quietly revolutionary in its very conception. The author and photographic collaborator set out to show how physical space influenced and stimulated various well known American writers. They look at both the writer's residence and personal writing space within that structure. As an archaeologist I spend much of my time looking at how artifacts once served to reproduce worldview. Much of that interest in my field has followed Pierre Bourdieu's notion of habitus. This book does the same in that it looks at how home and writing space might stimulate both thought and words. And this is done in an absolutely stunning fashion with thoughtful text, quotation of relevant passages from the writer, and striking illustrations. Any one with an interest in writing, writers, history, photography, architecture, or material culture (as well as the just plain curious folks) will welcome this book as a holiday gift.

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