Remembering the Bone House is one of my all-time favorite books. Nancy Mairs wrote this memoir in 1989. It was out of print for a while, but then Beacon Press did a new printing in 1995, for which the author wrote a new preface. In it, she called this memoir “the dearest of my books to me.”
Although here in this space I try to keep pushing forward with the new books I’m reading, sometimes I like to take a look way in the past at the books I deemed at the time I read them as “all-time favorites.” I take them off the shelf, blow away the dust, and turn the pages now edged in a rusty color, wondering if they still are. So far I have not been disappointed.
In Remembering the Bone House, Mairs writes about the different houses she has lived in, as well as about the house she lives in every day–her body, the bone house. She subtitled the book, An Erotics of Place and Space. She uses the word erotics in the largest possible sense: anything to do with her body. She was forty-five when she wrote the memoir and living with multiple sclerosis.
The last time I read Remembering the Bone House was August of 1996. I am putting it in my reread pile, which is growing ever larger, and which may eventually match my tower of unread books. Whenever I get to it, I will report back.
I leave you with her words:
“I will write about the yellow house. You will read about your house. If I do my job, the book I write vanishes before your eyes. I invite you into the house of my past, and the threshold you cross leads you into your own.”