NEW! Little Book of Germs

In Bohemia: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Kindness

In Bohemia: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Kindness

Katie Swenson

Available September 2020


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The day her fiancé died suddenly of a heart attack, Katie Swenson retreated to “Bohemia,” the third-floor loft that the couple had renovated in their home in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and began to write. A visceral account of grief and the profound kindness that resonates around, it is also the story of her hundred-year-old house, named the “Scarab” after the Egyptian symbol for rebirth, and the two courageous women who built it a century earlier—Wellesley College professors Katharine Coman and her partner Katharine Lee Bates, author of “America the Beautiful.” Parallel lives unfold in the magical third-floor loft, where Coman died, where Bates mourned, and where Swenson wrote and wrote through that first searing year, held up by their spirits. Told with rare emotional power, In Bohemia is a meditation on love, family, and community and inspires us to be our best selves.

Size: 6″ x 8″ | 50 color and 6 b/w images | 224 pp
ISBN13: 9780764359972 | Binding: hard cover


Katie Swenson is a writer, designer, and social activist who advocates for high-quality housing and thriving communities for all. Her first book, Growing Urban Habitats: Seeking a New Housing Development Model, coauthored with William Morrish and Susanne Schindler, was published by William Stout in 2008. She was an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Virginia School of Architecture. She lives with her three daughters in Wellesley, Massachusetts.