Clutter: An Untidy History

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Product Details
$16.95  $15.76
Belt Publishing
Publish Date
4.9 X 6.9 X 0.5 inches | 0.02 pounds

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About the Author
Jennifer Howard is a former contributing editor and columnist for The Washington Post and a former senior reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education. A frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and a contributing writer at EdSurge, she has written for Slate, Bookforum, Fine Books & Collections, and Humanities magazine, among many other publications. Her fiction has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The Collagist, Blue Moon Review, the collection DC Noir, and elsewhere. She lives in Washington, DC.
"Jennifer Howard has written a brilliant and beautiful meditation on the nature of our attachment to things. Reading Clutter made me long for a life without clutter." --Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author and host of the "Revisionist History" podcast
"In her stern and wide-ranging new manifesto, "Clutter: An Untidy History," journalist Jennifer Howard takes the anti-clutter message a step further. Howard argues that decluttering is not just a personally liberating ritual, but a moral imperative, a duty we owe both to our children and to the planet."--Jennifer Reese, Washington Post
"Howard's exploration of one dark corner of consumer culture is quick-witted and insightful--and, appropriately for the subject, refreshingly concise. ... A keen assessment of one of society's secret shames and its little-understood consequences."--Kirkus Reviews
"This book is the primal scream of an only child.... [A] tidy little volume--certainly not one that would clutter up anyone's bookish space. It's the minimalistic story of one woman's life and how her belongings came to be, merged with her daughter's dilemma of what to do with it all, framed by the eternal question dating back to prehistoric times: How much stuff should I bring into my cave?"--Lanie Tankard, The Woven Tale Press
"Blending her personal experience and her research, Howard creates an engaging narrative that is colored by her investment in understanding hoarding in all of its complexities."--Linda Levitt, PopMatters
"A wonderful new book for anyone who is interested in the topic of emptying an extremely cluttered family home, especially for those who have not only a practical, but an intellectual interest in it. ... A delight to read."--Janet Hulstrand, Decluttering the Home
"How and why stuff accumulates is the subject of Jennifer Howard's new book Clutter: An Untidy History. It begins with her cleaning out her mother's home--an experience many people of a certain age are familiar with. The book then tackles hoarding disorder, the Victorian roots of consumerism, the history of mail-order catalogues leading to today's Amazon Prime, how controlling clutter has historically been "women's work," and the problem of waste and how it damages the environment. Clutter thoroughly unpacks the topic."--Eve Ottenberg, Washington City Paper
"Fascinating, meticulous and fittingly compact." --Judy Bolton-Fasman, Jewish Boston
"In Clutter, Jennifer Howard offers a fascinating and insightful account of what becomes of the stuff that we accumulate in our homes and lives. It's a powerful reminder of how the deeply personal acts of daily life are shared across families, cultures, economies, and countries, and a moving account of how one author's struggle to manage her family's clutter led to a deeper understanding of what matters most in all of our lives." --Adam Minter, author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade and Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale