Cheryl Mendelson

“I am a working woman with a secret life: I keep house,” lawyer, professor, and novelist Cheryl Mendelson writes in Home Comforts, her 884-page compendium of housekeeping how-to. When it became a best seller, it spawned a furor over whether it was, in the words of one critic, “a scary sign of antifeminist backlash.” Mendelson’s husband, Edward, is W.H. Auden’s literary executor; some chapters include epigraphs from the poet, known for his slovenliness. “Auden was very much interested in home in the moral sense,” Edward has said, “rather than the aesthetic.”

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