Monninger Barn Project Inspires Book

September 20th, 2001 by Adam

A new book by Joseph Monninger, resident artist in Plymouth State College’s Department of English, will be published in October 2001 by Chronicle Books. A Barn in New England: Making a Home on Three Acrestells the story of a renovating a 6,000-square-foot 19th century barn into a home for the new family that is coming together at the same time.

A Barn in New Englandis Monninger’s 10th published book. His most recent previous book, also published by Chronicle, is Home Waters: Fishing with an Old Friend, which won a Book Sense award last August. Monninger has been published in Playboy, Yankee, Reader’s Digest, American Heritage, McCall’s, Glamour, Story, Redbook, Scientific American, Fiction and Sports Illustrated. He is the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and was nominated for a Pushcart Award.

Monninger said that when they began renovating the barn, he had no idea there would be a book in it. “I started to realize it as the barn became our whole world for a while.” Beyond the discovery of the complexity and scope of the renovation itself, Monninger and his family discover more about New Hampshire and life in the country. According to the book’s description, “While building a fence, putting in a garden, renovating the house, and exploring the land, the author finds his family’s new life rooted in the area’s old traditions, learning the history of covered bridges and New England’s witchy past. They discover the best way to trim the grass (sheep), the delight of moving a 14-foot Christmas tree into their living room, and the spooky fun of holding a séance for Halloween.”

The upcoming book has already been reviewed by Publishers Weeklyand Booklist,which said, “This is an utterly charming story, told with grace and insight.”