A Place of My Own : The Architecture of Daydreams
A captivating personal inquiry into the art of architecture, the craft of building, and the meaning of modern work
"A room of one's own: Is there anybody who hasn't at one time or another wished for such a place, hasn't turned those soft words over until they'd assumed a habitable shape?"
When Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was the acclaimed bestseller Second Nature. In A Place of My Own, he turns his sharp insight to the craft of building, as he recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property--a place in which he hoped to read, write, and daydream, built with his own two unhandy hands.
Michael Pollan's unmatched ability to draw lines of connection between our everyday experiences--whether eating, gardening, or building--and the natural world has been the basis for the popular success of his many works of nonfiction, including the genre-defining bestsellers The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. With this updated edition of his earlier book A Place of My Own, readers can revisit the inspired, intelligent, and often hilarious story of Pollan's realization of a room of his own--a small, wooden hut, his shelter for daydreams--built with his admittedly unhandy hands. Inspired by both Thoreau and Mr. Blandings, A Place of My Own not only works to convey the history and meaning of all human building, it also marks the connections between our bodies, our minds, and the natural world.
- Paperback | 352 pages
- 142 x 213 x 20mm | 295g
- 01 Jan 2009
- Penguin Putnam Inc
- Penguin USA
- New York, NY, United States
- B/W ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
When writer Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was an award-winning treatise on the borders between nature and contemporary life, the acclaimed bestseller Second Nature. Now Pollan turns his sharp insight to the craft of building, as he recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property--a place in which he hoped to read, write and daydream, built with his two own unhandy hands.
Invoking the titans of architecture, literature and philosophy, from Vitrivius to Thoreau, from the Chinese masters of feng shui to the revolutionary Frank Lloyd Wright, Pollan brilliantly chronicles a realm of blueprints, joints and trusses as he peers into the ephemeral nature of "houseness" itself. From the spark of an idea to the search for a perfect site to the raising of a ridgepole, Pollan revels in the infinitely detailed, complex process of creating a finished structure. At once superbly written, informative and enormously entertaining, A Place of My Own is for anyone who has ever wondered how the walls around us take shape--and how we might shape them ourselves.
A Place of My Own recounts his two-and-a-half-year journey of discovery in an absorbing narrative that deftly weaves the day-to-day work of design and building--from siting to blueprint, from the pouring of foundations to finish carpentry--with reflections on everything form the power of place to shape our lives to the question of what constitutes "real work" in a technologicalsociety.
A book about craft that is itself beautifully crafted, linking the world of the body and material things with the realm of mind, heart, and spirit, "A Place of My Own has received extraordinary praise: -->
"From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of contents
Chapter 1: A Room of One's Own
Chapter 2: The Site
Chapter 3: On Paper
Chapter 4: Footings
Chapter 5: Framing
Chapter 6: The Roof
Chapter 7: Windows
Chapter 8: Finish Work
"[Pollan] alternates between describing the building process and introducing informative asides on various aspects of construction. These explanations are deftly and economically supplied. Pollan's beginner status serves him well, for he asks the kind of obvious questions about building that most readers will want answered." --The New York Review of Books
"By shrewdly combining just the right mix of personal reflection, architectural background, and nuts-and-bolts detail, Michael Pollan enables us to see, feel, and understand what goes into the building of a house. The result is a captivating and informative adventure." --John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
"An utterly terrific book . . . an inspired meditation on the complex relationship between space, the human body and the human spirit." --Francine du Plessix Gray
"A tour de force . . . [Pollan] writes gracefully and humanely. He is a true carpenter-craftsman of prose." --Phillip Lopate
About Michael Pollan