Comes With Furniture and People
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ISBN 10: 1684333970
ISBN 13: 978-1684333974
Comes with Furniture and People tells the story of a daughter desperate to reach a mother trapped in depression. What’s more, the daughter intuits the mother has an incurable disease, one the mother hides even from herself, as she spends her days reading Greek dramas and studying the etymologies of words. Four years after the mother dies of leukemia, The Washington Post runs a front-page story of her house cordoned off because it was a bomb testing site during World War One. And here the daughter’s gnawing suspicion is confirmed. The memoir also chronicles that daughter’s experience—in her thirties—with stage three breast cancer, mastectomy and single motherhood. Set in Washington, D.C., Comes with Furniture and People describes sleepovers with Amy Carter, waiting for Gorbachev to drive by in a motorcade, and the glorious peal of The National Cathedral bells floating over her neighborhood.
"Reading this is to commune with a mind whose thoughts and sensations are utterly original. Added to this uniqueness is Charlotte Matthew's inexhaustible sense of wonder, her understanding and reverence of the natural world." --Ron Rash, author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall.
"Charlotte Matthews meticulously chooses each word as she writes about her mother's remote but singular love. The book takes you down a path left behind by a mother for her own pregnant daughter to follow. At times poignant and chilling it's also sometimes laugh out loud funny. Beautifully crafted. Read this story once, and then read it again. "Broken bones stitch back together on their own," Matthews writes. It's a book to savor." --Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
"Matthews connects grief and joy so gracefully that the dead come back to life, and life itself - ordinary town and house, childhood and family - grow suddenly rich, a stillness." --Marianne Boruch, Essayist & Poet
"The essays in Charlotte Matthews' Comes with Furniture and People are the most tender bruises. These essays are sensitive to pain, and the pain stays hot and very present. But this isn't just another book about trauma. Each essay, regardless of size, expands and then it returns: massive and miniature, with weight and without it, an invitation to become enthralled." --Lily Hoang, author of five books of prose, including Changing (recipient of a PEN Open Books Award)
About the Author
Poet and professor at The University of Virginia, Charlotte Matthews treasures kindness and moss and miniatures. She is author of three full length collections: Still Enough to Be Dreaming, Green Stars and Whistle What Can't Be Said. Her honors include fellowships from The Chautauqua Institute, The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and The Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She holds an M.F.A from Warren Wilson College's Program for Writers and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. She lives in Crozet, Virginia with her husband, two teenage children and a black lab named Linus.