The House on Teacher's Lane: A Memoir of Home, Healing, and Love's Hardest Questions

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The bestselling author of Riding the Bus with My Sister shares an illuminating and beautifully woven memoir about the unexpected ways a home renovation can repair a heart.

When Rachel Simon and her architect husband begin to renovate their house on Teacher's Lane, she braces herself for the ups and downs that often accompany such projects. But to her surprise, as the old walls fall and new paint appears, she is propelled into a transformative journey as she confronts forgotten memories and repairs fractured bonds with those closest to her. This compassionate and humorous book shimmers with insights into the healing power of forgiveness, the struggle to find meaning and purpose, the compatibility of imperfection and happiness, and the ways that lost relationshipswith friends, parents, siblings, spouse, and even selfcan be rekindled.

Fans of Riding the Bus with My Sister and new readers alike will be drawn to Simon's masterful storytelling and profoundly life-affirming tale. Her story will resonate with anyone who's ever experienced the most universal human emotionlove, in its many formsand wrestled with its hardest questions.
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About the author

Rachel Simon is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling memoir Riding the Bus with My Sister. Her other books include the novel The Magic Touch and a collection of short stories, Little Nightmares, Little Dreams. In addition to writing, she is a frequently sought-after speaker on disability issues and the steps people can take to improve their lives. She lives in Delaware, with her husband, Hal, on a street informally known as Teacher’s Lane.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
May 25, 2010
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781101429556
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Women
House & Home / Remodeling & Renovation
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Rachel Simon’s debut, originally published in 1990, is a collection of stories about the struggle for love and intimacy, told from the point of view of adolescent girls, young mothers, and elderly women. Some are rooted in reality, others in magical realism, with tones ranging from serious to comic, sunny to dark. Throughout, Simon employs such a wide range of voices—sweet, shrewd, wistful, irascible, vulnerable, sensual—the Philadelphia Inquirer hailed her as “a literary ventriloquist.”

Among the highlights are “Little Nightmares, Little Dreams,” in which an elderly couple enters the unknown by trying to dream the same dream; “Paint,” in which a runaway-turned-artist’s-model provokes protests after her naked body becomes the canvas; “Afterglow,” in which a plucky thirteen-year-old playing hooky is held hostage by an escaped convict; “Grandma Death,” in which an overbearing grandmother can’t seem to go anywhere without someone dropping dead; and “Better Than A Box of Dreams,” in which a maid irritated by her boss’s dream therapy sessions dreams her own fondest wish back to life.

Little Nightmares, Little Dreams was presented on NPR’s Selected Shorts and the Lifetime program The Hidden Room. “Paint” and “The Speed of Love” were adapted by the Arden Theatre Company, and “Better Than A Box of Dreams” for InterAct Theatre, both in Philadelphia.

This 2014 ebook rerelease includes four previously uncollected stories. It also includes a new introduction that tells the story of the book’s astonishing path to publication, reveals the inspiration behind several stories, and offers wisdom from a seasoned writing friend that writers everywhere will treasure.



A “heartwarming, life-affirming” memoir of a relationship with an intellectually disabled sibling: “Read this book. It might just change your life” (Boston Herald).
 
Beth is a spirited woman with an intellectual disability who lives intensely and often joyfully, and spends most of her days riding the buses in Pennsylvania. The drivers, a lively group, are her mentors; her fellow passengers, her community—though some display less patience or kindness than others.
 
Her sister, Rachel, a teacher and writer, camouflages her emotional isolation by leading a hyperbusy life. But one day, Beth asks Rachel to accompany her on public transportation for an entire year—and Rachel accepts. This wise, funny, deeply affecting book is the chronicle of that remarkable time, as Rachel learns how to live in the moment, how to pay attention to what really matters, how to change, how to love—and how to slow down and enjoy the ride.
 
Weaving in anecdotes and memories of terrifying maternal abandonment, fierce sisterly loyalty, and astonishing forgiveness, Rachel Simon brings to light a world that is almost invisible to many people, finds unlikely heroes in everyday life, and, without sentimentality, wrestles with her own limitations and portrays Beth as the endearing, feisty, independent person she is.
 
“With tenderness and fury, heartbreak and acceptance . . . Simon comes to the inescapable conclusion that we are all riders on the bus, and on the bus we are all the same.” —Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
In the first major study of women in an Arab country�s Jewish community, Rachel Simon examines the changing status of Jewish women in Libya from the second half of the nineteenth century until 1967, when most Jews left the country. Simon shows how social, economic, and political changes in Libyan society as a whole affected its Jewish minority and analyzes the developments in women�s social position, family life, work, education, and participation in public life.

Jews lived in Libya for more than two thousand years. As a result of their isolation from other Jewish centers and their extended coexistence with Berber and Arab Muslims, the Jews of Libya were strongly influenced by the manners, customs, regulations, and beliefs of the Muslim majority. The late nineteenth century witnessed a growing European cultural and economic penetration of Ottoman Liibya, which increased after the Italian occupation of Libya in 1911. Italian rule continued until a British Military Administration was established in 1942-43. Libya became independent in late 1951. The changing political regimes presented the Jewish minority with different models of social and cultural behavior. These changes in the foci of inspiration and imitation had significant implications for the position of Jewish women, as Jewish traditional society was exposed to modernizing and Westernizing influences.

Economic factors had a strong impact on the position of women. Because of recurring economic crises in the late nineteenth century, Jewish families became willing to allow women to work outside the home. Some families also allowed their daughters to pursue vocational training and thus exposed them also to academic studies, especially at schools operated by representatives of European Jewish organizations.

Although economic and educational opportunities for women increased, the Jewish community as a whole remained traditional in its social structure, worldview, and approach to interpersonal relations. The principles upon which the community operated did not change drastically, and the male power structure did not alter in either the private or the public domain. Thus the position of women changed little within these spheres, despite the expansion of opportunities for women in education and economic life. Change was slow, evolutionary, and within the framework of traditional society.

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