Reviews of Homeward Bound

“3.5 out of 4 stars” - People Magazine                                                               “The brilliance of Emily Matchar’s new book is that it exhaustively describes what disillusioned workers are opting into: a slower, more sustainable, and more self-sufficient lifestyle that’s focused on the home. Matchar synthesizes dozens of trend stories … into a single, compelling narrative about the resurgence of domesticity….Refreshing.” -The New Republic                                                       "[P]rovocatively explores what the movement says about the role of women in society today.” – The New Yorker                                                                       "I unreservedly loved it…It’s empathetic and funny and thoughtful and smart, and I encourage all of you to read it."– The Hairpin                                                         “Cogently argues that choosing a more hands-on, DIY lifestyle – family farming, canning, crafting, can, without sacrificing feminism’s hard-won gains, improve on an earlier time when ‘people lived more lightly on the earth and relied less on corporations, and family and community came first.’” - ELLE                                                               “[I]ntelligent and insightful...essential reading.” - Christianity Today                                                       “A lively and perceptive reporter… a valuable and astute assessment.”—Publishers Weekly                                                         “A well-researched look at the resurgence of home life…. Offers intriguing insight into the renaissance of old-fashioned home traditions.”— Kirkus Reviews

What is New Domesticity?

This blog is a look at the social movement I call ‘New Domesticity’ – the fascination with reviving “lost” domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc. Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex & the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?                                                                                     My book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, which explores New Domesticity in greater depth, will be published by Simon & Schuster in May 2013.

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About Emily Matchar

 

Hi! I’m Emily Matchar. I write about culture, women’s issues, food, travel and more for publications like The AtlanticThe Washington PostSalonGourmet, The HairpinBabble, Men’s Journal, BBC HistoryOutside, Lonely Planet and lots of others. Before I started full-time freelancing, I worked as a newspaper reporter, an editorial assistant at a national magazine, and a professional blogger. Before that, there was a stint as an ambulance driver (less exciting than it might sound) and a rather depressing period of waitressing in a Japanese restaurant (nobody looks good in a blue polyester kimono). I have a degree in English from Harvard University, and I live in Hong Kong and Chapel Hill, North Carolina with my husband, Jamin Asay.

I’m currently hard at work on a book, a critical look at the New Domesticity phenomenon, due out from Simon & Schuster in May 2013. As someone with a longstanding – albeit often ambivalent – interest in the domestic arts, it’s been fascinating talking to knitters, jam-canners, homeschool moms and radical homesteaders about why so many 21st century women are returning to the kind of old-fashioned domestic skills their mothers and grandmothers happily left behind. I want to understand what this means for women, feminism and society, and everyone seems to have their own opinion – often a very strong opinion!

If you’d like to share your own view on New Domesticity (please do!), or if you have any questions or comments, please email me at ematchar [at] gmail [dot] com.