Episode 101 — Matthew Batt


Matthew Batt is today’s guest.  He’s the author of the memoir Sugarhouse, now available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Andre Dubus III raves

It’s hard to write funny, especially when your world is crumbling around you, but in this utterly compelling memoir, Matt Batt makes it look easy. This is a sweet and deeply memorable debut by a writer who’s clearly the real thing.

Steve Almond calls it

a whale of a book — an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who’s ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I’m still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I’m dazzled at his achievement.

And Cheryl Strayed says

Winning, funny, and crackling with life, Sugarhouse is a can’t-put-down chronicle of a bad house gone good and a good family gone in directions the author didn’t expect. Batt’s book about glue, grace, gumption, and the grit it takes to keep on living is an unforgettable and sweet read.

Monologue topics:  Los Angeles, dead dreams, desert wastelands, the new novel, Batt vs. Bott, the compensatory nature of my overuse of canned applause.