Emma Copley Eisenberg, "Housemates" (Hogarth, 2024)

Summary

Today I talked to Emma Copley Eisenberg's novel Housemates (Hogarth, 2024).

After Bernie’s former photography professor, the renowned yet tarnished Daniel Dunn, dies and leaves her a complicated inheritance, Leah volunteers to accompany Bernie to his home in rural Pennsylvania, turning the jaunt into a road trip with an ambitious mission: to document America through words and photographs.

What ensues is a journey into the heart of the nation, bringing the housemates into conversation with people from all walks of life—“the absurd dreamers and failures of this wide, wide country”—as they try to make sense of the times they are living in. Along the way, Leah and Bernie discover what it means to chase their own ideas and dreams, and to embrace what they are capable of both romantically and artistically.

Warm and insightful, Housemates is a story of youth and freedom—a glorious celebration of queer life, and how art and love might save us all.

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Kendall Dinniene

Kendall Dinniene is a PhD candidate in English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Their dissertation excavates how American literature and film complicates and transforms dominant notions of fatness, revealing how these notions are intertwined with and produce ideas about race as well as gender, sexuality, health, and national identity. Their work relies upon queer theory, Black feminist theory, and fat studies scholarship alongside literary criticism to argue that how we understand fatness is crucial to the way we understand (and make) our world. Kendall's scholarship has appeared in Fat Studies: A Journal of Body Weight and Society and is forthcoming in Ethnic Studies Review.

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