Events & Press


MESS Affair @ Cabinet– Brooklyn – Thurs. Oct. 29 ’15


New York Times Book Review

A gorgeous writer…. Can clutter be glorious?

New York Times – “Melissa Clark: By the Book”

A fascinating read by a hoarder about the psychology and culture of hoarding.

USA Today – “Books: New and noteworthy”

“What can we say: Hoarders seem to be hot.”

Library Journal

“Extraordinary… terrifically funny… Not only a great memoir but also a superb introduction to the history of and theories about hoarding.”

Wall Street Journal

“Droll…engaging… Mr. Yourgrau is a comedian and he writes with self-mocking humor.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“With aplomb, Yourgrau documents his winding journey to unpack his home and mind.”

A compelling and thoroughly entertaining hybrid of memoir and research… Yourgrau tells a story as addictive as a whodunit — one we might call a whydunit.”

Publishers Weekly

In this hilarious memoir, Yourgrau regales readers with tales of his tendency to collect objects and keep them….. Eventually, as he explains with wit and honesty, he begins to deal with the clutter….”

More Early Praise for MESS

“Barry Yourgrau is America’s Kafka, if Kafka were hysterically funny, weirdly relatable, and had just a little bit of a hoarding problem. Mess is a total Yourgrau feast—I wept with laughter (but then why couldn’t I throw away my Kleenex?).”— Sandra Tsing Loh, author of The Madwoman in the Volvo

“With Mess, Barry Yourgrau performs a wonderful sort of double excavation — of his overstuffed apartment but also of his past, his pain, his losses, his confusions, his loves. This book is funny, hopeful, and true. Buy it, put in on your shelf, and be sure to dust it regularly.” — Daniel Smith, author of Monkey Mind

“A beautifully written examination of the pain of holding on and the agony and relief of finally letting go.” — David Adam, author of The Man Who Couldn’t Stop

“If Richard Pryor and Lydia Davis shared a hoarder’s body, this is the memoir of that wild gorgeous being. A great literary mind gathers the whole world into his apartment and then, like a Grimm’s witch, tries to make it disappear.” — Clancy Martin, author of Love and Lies

“All of us who live—or have lived—in unmentionable and unspeakable abodes owe it to ourselves to have our anti-domestic pathologies turned into something as funny and charming as Mess.” — Lawrence Osborne, author of The Forgiven

“Told in prose as engaging as it is elegant, this tale of one man’s struggle to come to terms with both his possessions and his past touches our deep places—it’s compulsively readable.” — Jessie Sholl, author of Dirty Secret

“Mess is a deeply enjoyable act of literary purification.  Yourgrau, with courage and insight, transforms his most shameful secret into a gift for the reader.  He’s that rarest of things—the generous hoarder.” — Sean Wilsey, author of More Curious