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Now I Sit Me Down


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About the Author

Witold Rybczynski is a writer and an emeritus professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of How Architecture Works and Mysteries of the Mall and has written about architecture and design for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate. Among his award-winning books are Home, The Most Beautiful House in the World, and A Clearing in the Distance, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. He is the winner of the 2007 Vincent Scully Prize and the 2014 Design Mind Award from the National Design Awards. He lives with his wife in Philadelphia.


"This is a book to savor in a favorite chair. Maybe you'll even find the one you're sitting in reflected in its pages: Now I Sit Me Down is charmingly illustrated with postage-stamp-size images of many of the chairs discussed--all drawn with obvious care by the author." --Henry Petroski, The Wall Street Journal"Rybczynski adds another delightful volume to an already impressive shelf of books notable for formidable learning worn lightly and an infectious fascination with the way we craft the built environment . . . His prose has the engagingly conversational tone of an accomplished lecturer. You needn't be a student of architecture or design to enjoy Now I Sit Me Down, but you will certainly come away knowing a lot more about the practices and principles that shaped chairs throughout history." --Wendy Smith, The Boston GlobeThe book is a slim, insightful introduction to the piece of furniture that shapes not only the way we sit, but the way we live, too." --Mark Medley, The Globe and Mail"Whether describing the Egyptian stool or its surprising descendant, the Hollywood director's chair, Rybczynski elegantly sums up the social trends and technological innovations that have conspired to change the way we sit . . . There is a tactile quality to the writing." --Amanda Kolsen Hurley, Architect Magazine"[Rybczynski is] a refreshing voice on the design writing scene." --MiChelle Jones, The Dallas Morning News"With wit, scholarship and perspective, Witold Rybczynski's history of chairs and how we use them is a pure delight." --Shelf Awareness(starred review)"Who knew sitting was so complicated? Or so fascinating? Rybczynski . . . has a special knack for making everyday objects and ideas seem captivating, in part because he places them in a larger historical narrative. In his telling, the chair becomes a seemingly immortal character traveling, Forest Gump-like, through the vicissitudes of our shared history." --Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch"The chair becomes anything but everyday in Rybczynski's discerning history . . . A worthy addition to Rybczynski's well-regarded oeuvre, this cultured examination should be read in one's favorite reading chair." --Booklist (starred review)"Rybczynski is totally engaging in this smoothly flowing, sharp, witty narrative--another winner from a top-notch writer on design." --Kirkus Reviews"[A] detailed and comprehensive history of the chair . . . .Rybczynski's relentless curiosity is easily transferred to the reader as he astutely zeroes in on the details of what makes a chair design special or significant. This latest contribution from Rybczynski serves as further evidence that he is one of the best writers on design working today." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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