Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home
Mariner Books, 9780547634531, 272pp.
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
An improbably funny account of how the purchase and restoration of a disaster of a fixer-upper saves a young marriage
When a season of ludicrous loss tests the mettle of their marriage, Matthew Batt and his wife decide not to call it quits. They set their sights instead on the purchase of a dilapidated house in the Sugarhouse section of Salt Lake City. With no homesteading experience and a full-blown quarter-life crisis on their hands, these perpetual grad students/waiters/nonprofiteers decide to seek salvation through renovation, and do all they can to turn a former crack house into a home. Dizzy with despair, doubt, and the side effects of using the rough equivalent of napalm to detoxify their house, they enter into full-fledged adulthood with power tools in hand.
Heartfelt and joyous, Sugarhouse is the story of how one couple conquers adversity and creates an addition to their family, as well as their home.
About the Author
Matt Batt's work has appeared in Tin House and on The Huffington Post and elsewhere. The Missouri Review called him a "heavy hitter" of nonfiction, and he's been nominated six times for the Pushcart Prize and is the recipient of an individual Artist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Praise For Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home…
"Batt’s home-rehab picaresque is hilarious, engrossing, and stocked with a cast of squirrely tradesmen and manic realtors...a charming take on domesticity . "
"It’s hard to write funny, especially when your world is crumbling around you, but in this utterly compelling memoir, Matt Batt makes it look easy. This is a sweet and deeply memorable debut by a writer who’s clearly the real thing."
— Andre Dubus III, author of Townie
-Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall
"Sugarhouse is a whale of a book -- an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who's ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I'm still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I'm dazzled at his achievement."
-Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak
-Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States, 2001-2003
"Winning, funny, and crackling with life, Sugarhouse is a can't-put-down chronicle of a bad house gone good and a good family gone in directions the author didn't expect. Batt’s book about glue, grace, gumption, and the grit it takes to keep on living is an unforgettable and sweet read."
-Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
- Robin Hemley, author of Do-Over!