Searching for the Soul of Shelter
Paperback, 240 pp. 6 x 9, Gatefold
Popular Culture / Historic Preservation
What qualities are missing in our homes? How can we regain them?
The mystery that attracts Howard Mansfield’s attention is that some houses have life—are home, are dwellings, and others aren’t. Dwelling, he says, is an old-fashioned word that we’ve misplaced. When we live heart and soul, we dwell. When we belong to a place, we dwell. Possession, they say, is nine-tenths of the law, but it is also what too many houses and towns lack. We are not possessed by our home places. This lost quality of dwelling—the soul of buildings—haunts most of our houses and our landscape.
Dwelling in Possibility is a search for the ordinary qualities that make some houses a home, and some public places welcoming.
“This wise and witty meditation on what makes a house a home fascinated, challenged, and tickled me. After reading it (and believe me, you should read it), you will look at your surroundings–and, perhaps, yourself–in a richer, more nuanced way.” —George Howe Colt, Author of The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home
“Howard Mansfield is a graceful writer with deep-rooted curiosity and a free-range mind. Reading him is like taking a long walk with a learned friend. In Dwelling in Possibility, Mansfield invites us to travel across time, geography and culture before delivering us—wiser and more thoughtful—to the full-of-meaning place we call home. —Kate Whouley, author of Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved and Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words.
“Like Thoreau, Mr. Mansfield is a keen observer and, in his neck of New Hampshire, a granitic critic of the rushed life.” — The Wall Street Journal
Read the advanced review from Bookpleasures.com
HOWARD MANSFIELD is the author of seven books, including In the Memory House, The Bones of the Earth, and The Same Ax, Twice, which The New York Times said was “filled with insight and eloquence. A memorable, readable, brilliant book on an important subject. It is a book filled with quotable wisdom.”