The Attic: A Memoir

Series: Bur Oak Books
Paperback / softback
In The Attic, his sequel to the classic We Have All Gone Away, Curtis Harnack returns to his rural Iowa homeplace to sift through an attic full of the trash and treasures left behind by the thirteen children in two generations who grew up in the big farmhouse. The adult Harnack had been making pilgrimages to his past from various parts of the country for thirty-plus years; now the death of an uncle and the disposal of an estate bring him home once more. The resonant diaries, church bulletins, photos, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia in the attic allow him to rediscover both personal and universal truths as he explores the enduring legacies of home, family, and community. Finally, discovering a cache of letters written home while he was in the Navy in the mid 1940s, he confronts a stranger--his younger self. Harnack's 'dream-pod journey . . . from who I am now to how it once was for me' tells the life story of a close-knit family and extends this story to our own journeys through our own memory-filled attics.