Memoirist Takes Reader from Fond du Lac to NYC
The Capital Times’s Stephanie Bedford Interviews Peters on her new book, House Hold.
“Peters….has written a book that charts her life’s journey so far through the buildings she’s lived in and the books that shaped her thought, and tells of the surprising ways in which they overlap. The memoir is as hard to describe as it is engaging to read. House Hold weaves personal narrative with the writing and lives of authors Peters has read and studied — writers like Henry James and Willa Cather, whose vivid descriptions of place are essential to understanding their fictional characters.
‘I really wanted to write a book that somehow could be both true to myself as a reader, and true to myself as a writer,’ said Peters in a recent phone interview. ‘I wanted to show how my sense of place is both coming out of my personal experience and connected to the stuff I read and teach.’ In combining the story of her journey from her childhood home to her adult life in New York City with history and literature, Peters hits on common truths about the universal search for a home.
With her acute eye for detail, Peters points out the way some of her favorite authors have drawn on memories of their own surroundings in creating fictional places. In doing so, she also reconstructs the lives of her parents — especially her father, a restless entrepreneur whose forward-thinking architectural design was literally the landscape of Peter’s childhood….”