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A Broom of One's Own: Words on Writing,…

A Broom of One's Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning, and Life (P.S.) (2008)

by Nancy Peacock

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This was a delightful book to read on a Sunday afternoon! I enjoyed hearing about the author's various jobs (mostly as a housecleaner), and what she's learned along the way about her writing and herself. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book! A great book for all aspiring writers, and housekeepers :) ( )
  ingriddoris | Mar 30, 2013 |
Riffing off the title of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (which essentially says that to write well, women must have their own lives), this short collection of light essays weaves twice-published novelist Peacock’s work cleaning houses with ruminations on writing.

It’s fast, interesting and inspiring, particularly to mainstream readers and beginning writers. But it feels older than having been published in 2008, and it doesn’t bring originality or new insight to shelves already crowded with famous writers’ books on writing. And it’s surprisingly angry; Peacock is annoyed by cleaning tasks and by clients, readers, publishers, other writers and other workers.

Recommended as a light diversion. If writerly memoir or advice is desired, my shortlist includes any Paris Review interview; Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird; Stephen King’s On Writing; or Elizabeth Berg’s Escaping into the Open. ( )
1 vote DetailMuse | Jun 19, 2012 |
A mix of soul searching and humor, this memoir is delightful. An honest and open view into the life of a published but still struggling writer, it is also a witty commentary on the diverse lifestyles of Peacock's housekeeping clients. Her quick mind never stops examining and assessing her internal and external worlds.

Peacock needs to find a balance between a life of supporting her material needs and the passion to write. She struggles with various approaches to earning money as well as resolving writer's issues. For example, after trying to establish a routine and find the best time of the day to write, Peacock settles on early morning. "It helps to get up earlier than my conscious mind, and I like writing first thing, when I am closest to my dream state."

All writers dream of where they would ideally like to do their writing. Daydreaming over a client's office as her own, Peacock plays an "imagination game" from where she would put her writing materials on his spacious desk to making her cat "miraculously well-behaved... and never lying on my papers again."

There is much contemplation packed into this light-hearted yet serious book. The section at the end "Writing Advice From the Author" almost inspires me to give it a try someday. Writing comes down from its ivory tower and becomes accessible to anyone - even (maybe especially) a housecleaner! Recommended for reading fun if nothing else. ( )
3 vote -Cee- | Dec 6, 2010 |
What a joy A Broom of One’s Own is! Honest and wise and humorous, each short essay takes us to a different client and a brief discussion of Peacock’s writing life.

Apparently, after having not one, but two books published and well received (Life Without Water, which I really enjoyed, was a NYT Notable Book), Peacock was supplementing her income by cleaning houses. Any notion I may have had of the glamorous life of a published author was shattered.

This is an insightful, engaging look at the life of an artist. ( )
3 vote coppers | Oct 19, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061357871, Paperback)

For the twice-published novelist, reading an article about herself in the National Enquirer—under the headline "Here's One for the Books: Cleaning Lady Is an Acclaimed Author"—was more than a shock. It was an inspiration.

In A Broom of One's Own, Nancy Peacock, whose first novel was selected by the New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year, explores with warmth, wit, and candor what it means to be a writer. An encouragement to all hard-working artists, no matter how they make a living, Peacock's book provides valuable insights and advice on motivation, craft, and criticism while offering hilarious anecdotes about the houses she cleans.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

Expresses the author's thoughts on being a writer, anecdotes about her second job as a maid and the houses she cleans, and advice on inspiration, craft, criticism, and other timely topics through autobiographical essays.

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