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Decorating a Room of One's Own: : Conversations on Interior Design with Miss Havisham, Jane Eyre, Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Bennet, Ishmael, and Other Literary Notables

3.57 (111 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

What would Little Women be without the charms of the March family's cozy New England home? Or Wuthering Heights without the ghost-infested Wuthering Heights? Getting lost in the setting of a good book can be half the pleasure of reading, and Decorating a Room of One's Own brings literary backdrops to the foreground in this wryly affectionate satire of interior design reporting. English professor and humorist Susan Harlan spoofs decorating culture by reimagining its subject as famous fictional homes and "interviews" the residents who reveal their true tastes: Lady Macbeth's favorite room in the castle, or the design inspiration behind Jay Gatsby's McMansion of unfulfilled dreams. Featuring 30 entries of notable dwellings, sidebars such as "Setting Up an Ideal Governess's Room," and four-color spot illustrations throughout, Decorating a Room of One's Own is the ideal book for readers who appreciate fine literature and a good end table.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 203 x 25.4mm | 612.35g
  • Abrams Image
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 40 4-colour spot illustrations
  • 1419732374
  • 9781419732379
  • 66,935

Review Text

"From Lady Macbeth's favourite room in the castle, to Lizzy Bennet's vision of Pemberly, this delightfully satirical book brings literary backdrops to the foreground by reimagining characters as homeowners who reveal their tastes in interiors" The Bookseller
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Review quote

"From Lady Macbeth's favourite room in the castle, to Lizzy Bennet's vision of Pemberly, this delightfully satirical book brings literary backdrops to the foreground by reimagining characters as homeowners who reveal their tastes in interiors" -- The Bookseller "Harlan...brings scholarly expertise and epigrammatic wit to this guide to famous figures' digs." -- BookPage "a singular delight for book nerds, design nerds, and anyone who...happens to be both." -- Curbed "This beautifully laid out and illustrated book is an incredibly funny, detailed homage to the homes in some of our favorite stories. Harlan, a college professor at Wake Forest University, has turned her discerning eye and lovely prose to a very funny premise that combines an Apartment Therapy-esque voice with the narrators and characters of classic literature. Some of the gut-busting chapters include "Jay Gatsby's Desperately Sad McMansion of UnFulfilled Dreams," "Stella and Stanley's Not Overly Welcoming New Orleans Walk-up," and an interlude centering on a conversation of underwater living between Grendel's Mother and the Sea Witch from the original fairy tale version of The Little Mermaid. Harlan's prose is as vivid as the comedic pictures she paints, and putting this book on your coffee table shows off your command of design elements as well as the narrative structure of Moby Dick." -- Electric Literature "The hardest thing about living in an enormous country house? The lack of closet space, according to Elizabeth Bennet, who can't quite believe how many guns husband Darcy has been cramming into the wardrobe. Intrigued? There's plenty more where that came from in Susan Harlan's coffee table tome Decorating a Room of One's Own. A beautifully illustrated spoof on interiors, Harlan "interviews" the residents of famous literary homes (think Lady Macbeth's castle or Jay Gatsby's mansion), resulting in an amusing collection of conversations on home decor quite unlike anything we've heard before." -- Emerald Street
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About Susan Harlan

Susan Harlan is an associate professor of English literature at Wake Forest University and a freelance journalist who contributes regularly to The Guardian and has written for Real Simple, Curbed, Jezebel, McSweeney's, and The Hairpin.
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Rating details

111 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 21% (23)
4 35% (39)
3 28% (31)
2 14% (15)
1 3% (3)
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