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Books & Brews, January 10, 2023 - Clutter: An Untidy History

WMRA’s January 2023 Books & Brews featured Jennifer Howard, discussing her book, Clutter: An Untidy History.

Signed copies of, Clutter: An Untidy History will be available online at Stone Soup Books.

WMRA's Books & Brews is made possible thanks to our series sponsor, Gaines Group Architects. The Gaines Group has offices in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg.


About Clutter: An Untidy History

An expansive assessment of our relationship to the things that share and shape our lives. Inspired by the painful process of cleaning out her mother’s house, Howard, a former contributing editor for The Washington Post, sets her own personal struggle with clutter against a meticulously researched history of just how the developed world came to drown in material goods.

With sharp prose and an eye for telling detail, she connects the dots between the Industrial Revolution, the Sears & Roebuck catalog, and the Container Store, and shines unsparing light on clutter’s darker connections to environmental devastation and hoarding disorder. In an age when Amazon can deliver anything at the click of a mouse and decluttering guru Marie Kondo can become a reality TV star, Howard’s bracing analysis has never been more timely.

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David Peterson

Jennifer Howard is a writer and journalist and the author of Clutter: An Untidy History. She’s a former contributing editor for the Washington Post Book World and a former senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, where she covered the humanities, technology, publishing, and libraries. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, VQR, the anthology D.C. Noir, and elsewhere. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.