Kate Kennedy, a writer and broadcaster, is the Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and a Research Fellow in Life-Writing at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. Hermione Lee is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Oxford. Her books include biographies of Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, and Penelope Fitzgerald.
A series of interesting essays about the houses of famous writers, composers and politicians. ---Martin Chilton, The Independent Lives of Houses is an enjoyable and at times outstanding gathering of idiosyncratic voices. ---Kevin Jackson, Literary Review A rich and eclectic collection of essays about the role houses play in people's lives and our fascination with the homes of our creative heroes. ---PD Smith, The Guardian [A] thoughtful, meticulously edited collection of essays. ---Lara Feigel, The Spectator The joy of the book lies in the sheer variety of its subjects' domestic routines. . . . Life-writing of this kind has the power to animate its subjects in ways that Sunday afternoon tours cannot. ---Helen Barrett, Financial Times Lives of Houses is a delight for bibliophiles. ---David Luhrssen, ShepardExpress.com Accessible, though with an obvious intellectual bent, Lives of Houses does not try to really answer the question of what houses mean to the people who live in them, but rather, calls readers to consider more broadly why these structures have such a hold-both physically and in how they frame the concept of home. ---Michelle Anya Anjirbag, Shelf Awareness Pilgrimages to the houses of late artists and writers are often destined to disappoint. Many of us go with grand hopes of finding something revelatory-we're not sure what-that will make us feel closer to the person, perhaps lead us to discover something hidden about their work. Lives of Houses . . . is a collection of essays largely centered on such pilgrimages and what we unexpectedly find. ---Elisa Wouk Almino, Literary Hub An anthology with a concept both interesting in itself and unintentionally topical. ---Carol Rumens, The Guardian Lives Of Houses is a collection of 20 or so essays, and several poems, on the houses of an eclectic selection of people - some of them famous, some obscure, ranging in time from the Roman Empire to the present day. ---Constance Craig Smith, Daily Mail The real object of study in Lives of Houses . . . is not the fascination with celebrity relics or the gossip over the scale and provenance of literary real estate, but the actual nature, tone and temperament of our attachment to place and home as dream-habitat and creative source. ---Gregory Day, The Australian Crammed with picturesque detail. ---Lindsay Duguid, Times Literary Supplement Lives of Houses . . . brings together some of the best writing about the home that I've ever had the pleasure to read-and, crucially, loads of black-and-white photographs and illustrations. . . . Kennedy and Lee pleasingly assert the freedom to consider not only houses, but also house-related themes. ---Kate Bolick, New York Review of Books Lives of Houses centres human stories first and foremost. . . . Each morsel of information provides a jolt of recognition as we see that many of the common activities of life have not altered. ---Charles Pidgeon, Oxford Review of Books