House Gods
224 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:01 May 2022

House Gods

Sustainable Buildings and Renegade Builders

University of New Mexico Press

Our buildings are making us sick. Our homes, offices, factories, and dormitories are, in some sense, fresh parasites on the sacred Earth, Nahasdzáán. In search of a better way, author Jim Kristofic journeys across the Southwest to apprentice with architects and builders who know how to make buildings that will take care of us. This is where he meets the House Gods who are building to the sun so that we can live on Earth. Forever.

In House Gods, Kristofic pursues the techniques of sustainable building and the philosophies of its practitioners. What emerges is a strange and haunting quest through adobe mud and mayhem, encounters with shamans and stray dogs, solar panels, tragedy, and true believers. It is a story about doing something meaningful, and about the kinds of things that grow out of deep pain. One of these things is compassion--from which may come solace. We build our buildings, we make our lives--we are the House Gods.

Kristofic's House Gods takes us into territory inhabited by Edward Abbey, Chuck Bowden, Gary Snyder, Barry Lopez, and other literary stalwarts who have tasted the rarified air that invigorates true adventurers in pursuit of balance and integrity. This is a compelling work that keeps the home fires of resistance burning heartily.'--Jack Loeffler, author of Headed into the Wind: A Memoir
Kristofic moves deftly between practical, detailed explanations of building techniques and a spiritual, almost mystical tone that probes philosophical questions about sustainability, the purpose of our dwellings, and our impact on the Earth.'--Yelizaveta Renfro, author of Xylotheque: Essays
Jim Kristofic grew up on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. He has written for The Navajo Times, Arizona Highways, Native Peoples Magazine, High Country News, and Parabola. He is the author of Medicine Women: The Story of the First Native American Nursing School and Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life and the coauthor of Send a Runner: A Navajo Honors the Long Walk (all from UNM Press). He lives in Taos, New Mexico.
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