Group Living and Other Recipes

A Memoir

Lola Milholland

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Sachbuch / Biographien, Autobiographien


For readers of Blood, Bones & Butter and Home Cooking comes a spirited and charming exploration of group living that encourages readers to reconsider the meaning of family and home.

Lola Milholland grew up in the nineties, the child of iconoclastic hippies. Her mom—energetic and intense at work and at play, whether at her job marketing for an agricultural co-op or paddling down a river, fat spliff in hand—had spent her life revolting against the strictures of her American and Filipino upbringing. Her dad, a child of the eastern Oregon desert, was a jovial documentary filmmaker and historian who loved to collect ephemera. Both threw open the doors of the Holman House, their rambling home in Portland, Oregon, to long-term visitors and unusual guests in need of a place to stay. Years later, after college and after her parents’ separation, Milholland returned home. There, she joined her brother and his housemates—an eccentric group of stop-motion animators and accomplished cooks—in choosing to further the experiment of communal living into a new generation. 

Group Living and Other Recipes tells the story of the residents of the Holman House—of transcendent meals and ecstatic parties, of colorful characters coming together in moments of deep tenderness and inevitable irritation, of a shared life that is appealing, humorous, confounding, and, just maybe, utopian—with a wider exploration of group living as a way of life. From spending time at her aunt and uncle’s intentional community in Washington State to finding her footing as a student in Japan in the kitchen with her host family to mushroom hunting in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Milholland offers an expansive and vibrant reevaluation of the structures at the very center of our lives. 

Thoughtful, quirky, candid, and wise, Group Living and Other Recipes provides a convincing case that “now is always the right time to reimagine home and family”—and introduces a gifted memoirist and food writer in the tradition of Laurie Colwin, Ruth Reichl, Gabrielle Hamilton, and M.F.K. Fisher.



memoir, group living, communal living, communes, utopias, intentional living, hippies, Millennials, Gen X, counterculture, protest movements, houses, family, chosen family, alternative family, cooking, recipes, food writing, Filipino American, Asian American, assimilation, Filipino food, Japanese food, Thai food, matsutake, mushrooms, ramen, nuclear disarmament, nuclear family, disability, hearing loss, deafness, housing crisis, affordable housing, Japanese language, Portland, Oregon, Kyoto, Port Townsend,