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.
Jim Kristofic grew up on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. He has written for The Navajo Times, Arizona Highways, Native Peoples Magazine, and High Country News. He is the author of Medicine Women: The Story of the First Native American Nursing School and Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life. He lives in Taos, New Mexico.
"House Gods is a book that should be read, shared, and studied by anyone who hopes to help save our planet for future generations."--Book Reporter
"Kristofic is a terrific, compelling writer who has turned the topic of sustainable housing into a transcendent cause. His knowledge of the land and the culture and the history of the American Southwest is nothing short of thrilling, and, as a reader, I would follow him anywhere he wants to go. We need what he has to say. And it's an enormous pleasure to hear it."--Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author of WAR, The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, and Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
"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