Critics Dig into The Archaeology of Home

The Archaeology of Home by Katharine GreiderNext week, PublicAffairs will publish THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF HOME: An Epic Set on a Thousand Square Feet of the Lower East Side by Katharine Greider. Click through for some early critical praise of this “astonishing, complex” tale!

First, we’ll let Booklist tell you a little bit about this extraordinary book:

Most of us have a home in an older structure yet rarely ponder its past. Over 11 chapters and 44 pages of endnotes, Greider constructs the ‘improbable memoir and epic history’ of one New York address, 239 East 7th Street, describing its series of inhabitants, all craving the security, boundary, and history that is home. With control and confidence, Greider tells her personal narrative while excavating an enormous cast of characters and their connections to and journey through one building in the Lower East Side that comes to represent Manhattan’s evolution.

They call it “an astonishing, complex, yet easy-to-digest tale” and say, “Greider succeeds brilliantly in magnifying 239 — its tenants, structure, and surroundings — so thoroughly that we feel its grit, then zooming out to reveal ‘multitudes dancing on the head of a pin’ — the macrocosm that is home, city, humanity.”

Library Journal agrees: “Well written and thoroughly researched, this sobering tale should resonate with many readers of our time who have also lost their homes, leaving them asking, ‘How could this happen to me?’ While the book will certainly interest urban historians, it will appeal even more to home owners wanting clues about how to research the past of their own homes. Recommended.”

On LibraryThing, readers who were given advance copies as part of their Early Reviewers program also had some very nice things to say. Here are quotes from just a few of them:

The Archeology of Home is an absolutely fabulous book. Greider does an amazing job of interweaving the story of her own property into that of greater New York. What she accomplishes is an urban history that will be equally enjoyable to the preservationist, urban historian, or general reader.”

“It’s an impressive achievement, and made for yet another great read for me from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers.”

“Greider jumps back and forth in time between past and present, and her meticulous research and accessible writing bring alive the various characters who lived in the house and the neighbourhood from the 1600s to the 2000s. Highly recommended.”

The New York Post also has an interesting article about the property and a photo of how it looks today!

Events at the Tenement Museum and Fraunces Tavern are in the works, so become a fan of THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF HOME on Facebook to stay in the loop!



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