A Memoir in Essays
Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in
Pub Date: 09/15/2020
List Price: $22.95
A Memoir in Essays
Uprooting ourselves and putting down roots elsewhere has become second nature. Americans are among the most mobile people on the planet, moving house an average of nine times in adulthood. Mobile Home explores one family’s extreme and often international version of this common experience. Inspired by Megan Harlan’s globe-wandering childhood—during which she lived in seventeen homes across four continents, ranging in location from the Alaskan tundra to a Colombian jungle, a posh flat in London to a doublewide trailer near the Arabian Gulf—Mobile Home maps the emotional structures and metaphysical geographies of home.
In ten interconnected essays, Harlan examines cultural histories that include Bedouin nomadic traditions and modern life in wheeled mobile homes, the psychology of motels and suburban tract housing, and the lived meanings within the built landscapes of Manhattan, Stonehenge, and the Winchester Mystery House. More personally, she traces the family histories that drove her parents to seek so many new horizons—and how those places shaped her upbringing. Her mother viewed houses as a kind of large-scale plastic art ever in need of renovating, while her father was a natural adventurer and loved nothing more than to travel, choosing a life of flight that also helped to mask his addiction to alcohol. These familial experiences color Harlan’s current journey as a mother attempting to shape a flourishing, rooted world for her son. Her memoir in essays skillfully explores the flexible, continually inventive natures of place, family, and home.
—David Lazar, author of I’ll Be Your Mirror: Essays and Aphorisms
—Lori Soderlind, New York Times Book Review
—Sam Pickering, Missouri Review
—Courtney Eathorne, Booklist
—Northern California Book Awards
—Melissa Oliveira, Hippocampus Magazine
IPPY Awards, Independent Publisher Magazine