East City Bookshop welcomes writer Jennifer Howard with her new book Clutter, in conversation with writer Susan Coll.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite here. Registration is required.
Inspired by the painful two-year process of cleaning out her mother’s house, Jennifer Howard sets her own personal struggle with clutter against a meticulously researched history of just how the developed world came to drown in material goods.With sharp prose and an eye for telling detail, she connects the dots between the Industrial Revolution, the Sears & Roebuck catalog, and the Container Store, and shines unsparing light on clutter’s darker connections to environmental devastation and hoarding disorder. Times of war, natural disaster, civil unrest, and disease force existential decisions about our possessions. Now, as the global pandemic has forced us into our homes, and into close contemplation of all of our stuff, Clutter asks the question of the hour: If you had to flee for your life, what would you take with you? What objects are truly irreplaceable? And why? A crucial read for anyone grappling with their own acquisitive desires, Clutter can help us all understand why we crave and keep what we do.
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, 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 D.C. Noir, and elsewhere. She lives in Washington, DC.
Susan Keselenko Coll is the author of five novels, most recently The Stager---a New York Times and Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, and Washingtonian Magazine. She worked as the Events and Programs Director at Politics and Prose Bookstore for five years, and is President of the PEN/Faulkner foundation.