House of Houses

Pat Mora (Author)
Paperback ($19.95) Buy
Combining poetic language and the traditions of magic realism to paint a vivid portrait of her family, Pat Mora’s House of Houses is an unconventional memoir that reads as if every member, death notwithstanding, is in one room talking, laughing, and crying. In a salute to the Day of the Dead, the story begins with a visit to the cemetery in which all of her deceased relatives come alive to share stories of the family, literally bringing the food to their own funerals. From there the book covers a year in the life of her clan, revealing the personalities and events that Mora herself so desperately yearns to know and understand.
“Poet Mora’s complex and dramatic family history comprises more than personal reminiscences: it also embraces resonant aspects of Mexican American history. Mora recounts her family’s traumatic exodus from Mexico to escape the violence of Pancho Villa and his forces and their struggles to begin new lives in another country. To anchor her psychologically rich, dramatic, sometimes funny, often touching multigenerational tale, Mora uses the image of a house—the house of houses—during a single year, a fruitful metaphor that allows her to dwell on the bright beauty of flowers, birds, and trees, emblems of the loving legacy of her nurturing family.” —Booklist

“Mora has created an ingenious structure for these recollections of her extended family, of their lives and the tales they share about the family’s history. Woven in with these memories are recipes, fragments of songs and poetry, folk remedies, and jokes, all of the small matters that most reveal a family’s identity. In a language deftly mingling the natural cadences of speech and precise, poetic imagery, Mora believably summons up both a group of tough, loving, idiosyncratic survivors and a vivid, detailed portrait of life in the Southwest in [the last] century.” —Kirkus Reviews
House of Houses
317 Pages 5.375 x 8 x 0.8 Published: 2008 Paperback (9780816527960)

For Authors

The University of Arizona Press publishes the work of leading scholars from around the globe. Learn more about submitting a proposal, preparing your final manuscript, and publication.

Inquire

Requests

The University of Arizona Press is proud to share our books with booksellers, media, librarians, scholars, and instructors. Request reprint licenses, information on subsidiary rights and translations, accessibility files, review copies, and desk and exam copies.

Request

Support the Press

Support a premier publisher of academic, regional, and literary works. We are committed to sharing past, present, and future works that reflect the special strengths of the University of Arizona and support its land-grant mission.

Give