A Broom of One's Own by Nancy Peacock

A Broom of One's Own

For the twice-published novelist, reading an article about herself in the National Enquirer—under the headline "Here's One for the Books: Cleaning Lady Is an Acclaimed Author"—was more than a shock. It was an inspiration.In A Broom of One's Own, Nancy Peacock, whose first novel was selected by the New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year, explores with warmth, wit, and candor what it means to be a writer. An encouragement to all hard-work...

Details A Broom of One's Own

TitleA Broom of One's Own
Release DateMar 25th, 2008
PublisherHarper Perennial
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Language, Writing, Humor

Reviews A Broom of One's Own

  • Julie Ehlers
    I'm not going to lie, I have stacks of books in pretty much all of my closets (come at me, Marie Kondo!), and I was looking for something else last week when I found my copy of A Broom of One's Own and inexplicably got a strong feeling that it should be my next book. Clearly my hunch was right, because I flew through this in a daya day, I feel compelled to add, that included 7 hours of sleep and an 8-hour workday. I just loved everything about th...
  • Reese
    "Nisht ahin, nisht aher" -- not one of the most often used expressions, but one familiar to those who grew up in households where at least bits and pieces of Yiddish were spoken. In her "focused memoir" or collection of related narratives, Nancy Peacock captures the experience of being "nisht ahin, nisht aher": neither here nor there. She hauls her cleaning supplies and equipment to and through and from the places where she is the cleaning lady. ...
  • Beth Browne
    From its clever title to the pithy writing tips at the end, this book is simply wonderful. Nancy Peacock tells her story with unflinching honesty in tight vibrant prose. Its a sobering story, but told with such fluid grace it leaves you gasping for more. A great choice for a writers bookshelf, this book will encourage beginners as well as seasoned writers. I found it hard to put down and irresistibly fun. From its clever title to the pithy writ...
  • Marian
    A very interesting book about writing. "An encouragement to all hard-working artists, no matter how they make a living..." (That's on the back of the book. :) )
  • Suzanne LaPierre
    Nancy Peacock is both a published and well-received novelist and a professional house cleaner. As you might imagine, she receives different feedback from people depending on which of these roles has her currently engaged. A Broom of Ones Own is a refreshingly brief and humorous book about the authors writing career and the fifteen years she spent earning her living as a housecleaner.Nancy Peacock never attended college but her first novel, Life W...
  • Tom Franklin
    Nancy Peacock is a writer whose first two books were written with great depth of understanding. "Life Without Water" is one of the few books I have ever stayed up into the early morning hours, unwilling to put down until I had finished it all in one sitting. "Home Across the Road" surprised me even more by the depth of the generations of the characters and the overriding sense of loss that ran through the character's lives."A Broom of One's Own" ...
  • Trena
    In the first heady days when I joined Goodreads it was like when you first join Facebook--you add everyone you can even hazily recall but then realize later that you aren't *really* interested in all their thoughts. I did that with books on the to-read list, so now I'm trying to clear them out.Nancy Peacock is a published author with two novels in print. However, her writing was not enough to support her, so she kept doing the job she found most ...
  • Camilla
    I love this book. I want to own it and be able to go back to it for later reference. Nancy Peacock hits so many nails on the head that seem to directly apply to my own life.In this book she recounts her experiences as a published Author, who still cleans houses for a day job. It's an interesting process she goes through from having writer's block to almost being fearful of success, and to even becoming comfortable with simply being a maid. And th...
  • Cara
    One of the best books I've read in a long time. Her candor and powers of observation won me over as did the fact that she lived/lives within her means.LOVING this book. Can't put it down. Local author endorsed by one of my heroes - Lee Smith. One of the first dates with my husband was when I was a student at NCSU in Raleigh. We went to hear Lee Smith talk about writing. She stressed the importance of writing what you know. Nancy Peacock knows a l...
  • Susan Hickam
    I loved every bit of this book.Having worked as a housecleaner myself, I could relate to the author's descriptions of many of her clients and to her struggles of how to make her life the one she wanted to live. Thank you Nancy so much for writing this and not being bullied into submission by bad advice(no one wants to know you are a housecleaner who didn't go to college). Wrong- I wanted to know and it has enriched me. Keep up the good work of wr...
  • Linda
    I haven't read Peacock's fiction, but I enjoyed her reflections on her day job (as a housecleaner), her dedication to writing, stranger's unsolicited writing advice to her (get an MFA, read Proust)and people's snobbery. A quick read with some sensible writing advice. A library patron who came to our Let's Talk About Books meeting told me about it . . .
  • Janet
    Keen observations from a writer/housecleaner. Nancy is a sensitive introvert who takes the things that people say and do in front of her to heart, and often needs to write it out to make sense of it--and often to get over/through it. Kinda like me...
  • Nora Gaskin Esthimer
    These essays about the writing life and what it takes to live it are funny and wise. Any illusions you have about the glamour of that life, well, sorry, but you'll have to part with them. But you'll appreciate your favorite writers even more.
  • Rtyndall40
    This book helped me so much! I'm a struggling writer having to figure out to support my habit and keep my family from living in a cardboard box. You do what you need to do, but on your own terms to keep your integrity. It's hard. But it's true. I hope I can meet Nancy in person someday.
  • Christina Rauh
    first 3 pages... already love it ;)
  • miteypen
    Not particularly insightful for a book of essays.
  • Shelley
    If you liked Truman Capote's essay "A Day's Work", about his cleaning lady, you'll enjoy this book. This time, the cleaning lady herself is writing the essays because she is the writer. Ms. Peacock is a published writer of two novels, but still can't pay all the bills, so she cleans houses part-time. The essays cover various aspects of her situation and has lots of funny stories about the houses she cleans and their different states of disarray.....
  • Sharon Wishnow-Ritchey
    Nancy Peacock picked an honest profession, housecleaning. Maybe it lacked glamour and it was hard work, but it gave her the solitude, flexibility, and quiet she needed to write. I'd love to sit and have a coffee with her. This charming book was a great pick me up. Full of funny observations, real emotions, and advice for writers or anyone pursing a passion. It's not a, don't give up story. It's more of a keep moving through your issues story. I d...
  • Amanda G.
    4.5 starsI zipped through this book, which is part memoir, part writing advice. I recommend this highly to other writers. Its funny, honest, and thought-provoking. The reason I held back a half a star is because I think in a couple of the essays Peacock couldve dug a little deeper. I wanted her to explore why that house held so much influence over her. I wanted to know more about why she feels hampered by a typical office job. But, overall, this ...
  • Eva Silverfine
    This collection of essays by novelist Nancy Peacock contrasts the romantic image of being a writer with the reality of being a writer and having to earn a livingfor Peacock by cleaning houses. The stories are mostly entertaining with an edge, as being someones housecleaner and presenting oneself as a housecleaner to other writers isnt always comfortable. But through this challenge of spirit, Peacock has managed to retain her humor and gain some c...
  • Susan Emshwiller
    Intimate, funny, revelatory, inspiring. A Broom of Ones Own had me growling at some of Peacocks house-cleaning clients, cheering at her gumption, and laughing at descriptions, foibles, and human vulnerabilities. Her honesty and openness to revealing the wide spread of human emotions is inclusive and empowering. Her words make me love her. Intimate, funny, revelatory, inspiring. A Broom of One’s Own had me growling at some of Peacock’s house...
  • Patricia McLaughlin
    Despite the querulous tone, this collection of essays offers helpful advice for aspiring writers who struggle with making a commitment to their craft; includes an interview with the author, writing tips, and a selected bibliography of books on writing.
  • Cressida
    Really enjoyed the book but hate hokey titles that riff off of other famous works. That doesn't affect my rating -- just an observation
  • Viktoria
    Enjoyable little essays. Would have been fun to read in a weekly, or monthly column, but not all at once.
  • Amy Turner
    I enjoyed these essays and plan to check out some of the author's novels.
  • Eleni
    A pleasant read, stronger in the beginning but not throughout, 3,5 stars.
  • Sarah Buchanan
    2.5 I don't tend to enjoy books about how hard people find the writing process.
  • Jillian
    Following the writer as she transitions from house cleaning to writing full time.
  • Jasmyne
    I loved this book.So many people after seeing the goldmines book series have become when they're picked up by Hollywood decide that writing is where it's at. It's the way to pick up a lottery ticket with the winning numbers, so they go to the store and pick up a Macbook and subscribe to two dozen writing magazines and sit in Starbucks, typing away while thinking about how expensive it will be to cast Chris Hemsworth or Emma Stone as the lead of t...
  • Colleen
    I just picked this up off the library shelf, something I haven't done in ages (I go in with a list) while looking for inspirational writing books to get me going. Not only was this inspirational, it was also very funny. As soon as I finished it, I got on Amazon and purchased a copy for my personal library. This book reminded me of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. It was funny, sad, and most importantly, uplifting. Peacock is by no means a spoiled, pam...