31—Homer & Langley by E. L. Doctorow

Homer & Langley Collyer were recluses and hoarders who lived their entire lives in their parent's house in Harlem from the beginning of the 20th century till their death in 1947. After their death the authorities removed more than 100 tons of "stuff" from their house. Pianos, books, musical instruments, bicycles, and stacks and stacks of newspapers which Langley started collecting after his return from WWI.

Doctorow's book is a sympathetic and gentle recreation of their life and is told in the form of a memoir by Homer, who became blind in his teenage years.

Doctorow has enlarged the scope of their lives and in the book they survive into the '80s.

This is a great read and a fast read.

Here's a link to a review in the New York Times.

© Surveyor of the Passing Scene