Biting the Dust: The Joys of Housework

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9780312212148: Biting the Dust: The Joys of Housework

In this witty look at our obsession with cleaning, Margaret Horsfield confronts her own dirt demons and scours the social, historical, literary and psychological nooks and crannies of the world of household chores. Through historical research, countless interviews with people and an analysis of characters from novels and advertising, Horsfield presents such memorable personalities as the woman who sends her small daughter to walk around other people's houses in white tights to check for dirt and the mother who, upon her son’s suicide, shed not a tear but stayed up all night frantically polishing her already gleaming hardwood floors. From demented television housewives to the redoubtable Mrs. Beeton, Biting the Dust runs the gamut of ideas and emotions. As we pause repeatedly to recognize our mothers, our friends, ourselves, we ask what we really do around the house and why. Biting the Dust throws light on a subject that is rich, strange and, oddly enough, highly entertaining.

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From the Publisher:

"Good, clean fun...A spiffy book, but please don't tell my mother I said that." --Andrea Higbie, The New York Times Book Review

"Horsfield wrings something quite wonderful here, an often fascinating social history that by turns will have you flailing under the beds for dust devils and laughing until your sides ache." --The Miami Herald

"An entertaining combination of literary tidbits, social history, and personal recollections...wise and witty." --The Boston Globe

"A touchingly obsessive display of research devoted to the history of scrubbing, vacuuming, bleaching and dusting." --Baltimore Sun

About the Author:

Margaret Horsfield has been a reporter for BBC, the CBC, the Guardian, the Independent and She magazine. She lives in British Columbia with her daughter.

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