Open House by Patricia J. Williams
Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and the Search for a Room of My Own

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Open House strings together a delightful array of observations, reminiscences, anecdotes and commentaries by renowned columnist Patricia Williams. Written with her trademark wit and insight, she relates stories about the many facets of her life - as a lawyer, scholar, writer, African-American, descendant of slaves, mother, and single, fifty-something woman - always aware of the ironies inherent in situations when her many identities don't conform to societal expectations. She tells us of her Great Aunt Mary, who crossed the color line one day, while boarding a train; about her Best White Friend, who believes that the only thing standing between the author and an eligible husband is a make-over; about the day she and her family learned how to eat watermelon without fear of racial judgment; and about why she worships Oprah. She also tackles serious subjects, such as cloning and the legacy of slavery and privacy issues in the cyberage, all with her characteristic sparkling humor and originality. Always provocative, never didactic, Open House is an entertaining journey through the rooms of Pat Williams' imagination.

About Patricia J. Williams

See more books from this Author
Patricia J. Williams, a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" award, is a columnist ("Diary of a Mad Lawyer," The Nation), and a professor of law at Columbia University. Her previous books are Seeing a Color-Blind Future, The Alcnemy of Race and Rights, and The Rooster's Egg. She contributes regularly to Ms. and The Village Voice.
Published November 8, 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Open House

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The story of how Great-aunt Mary passed for white when she married a Boston lawyer, for example, seems to Williams an example of how racial and cultural mixing, “nonconformist, embarrassing, and once illegal,” are nonetheless inherent aspects of American society.

Nov 08 2004 | Read Full Review of Open House: Of Family, Friend...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

NASHVILLE, the center of country music, grudgingly welcomed a new group of so-called outlaw songwriters and singers in the 1960's - among them Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings.

Oct 24 1985 | Read Full Review of Open House: Of Family, Friend...

Rate this book!

Add Review