Skip content
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more
On sale
You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith
  Send as gift   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account
Buy one get one free

This month only!

Become a member and shop our members-only, 10th anniversary buy-one-get-one sale in support of local bookstores.

Get started

You Could Make This Place Beautiful

A Memoir

$7.00

Retail price: $20.99

** Sale ends in 7 days **

Sale price: $7.00

Discount: 66%

Narrator Maggie Smith

This audiobook uses AI narration.

We’re taking steps to make sure AI narration is transparent.

Learn more
Length 7 hours 46 minutes
Language English
  Send as gift   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NPR Best Book of the Year Time Best Book of the Year Oprah Daily Best Memoir of the Year

“A bittersweet study in both grief and joy.” ­—Time

“A sparklingly beautiful memoir-in-vignettes” (Isaac Fitzgerald, New York Times bestselling author) that explores coming of age in your middle age—from the bestselling poet and author of Keep Moving.

“Life, like a poem, is a series of choices.”

In her memoir You Could Make This Place Beautiful, poet Maggie Smith explores the disintegration of her marriage and her renewed commitment to herself. The book begins with one woman’s personal heartbreak, but its circles widen into a reckoning with contemporary womanhood, traditional gender roles, and the power dynamics that persist even in many progressive homes. With the spirit of self-inquiry and empathy she’s known for, Smith interweaves snapshots of a life with meditations on secrets, anger, forgiveness, and narrative itself. The power of these pieces is cumulative: page after page, they build into a larger interrogation of family, work, and patriarchy.

You Could Make This Place Beautiful, like the work of Deborah Levy, Rachel Cusk, and Gina Frangello, is an unflinching look at what it means to live and write our own lives. It is a story about a mother’s fierce and constant love for her children, and a woman’s love and regard for herself. Above all, this memoir is “extraordinary” (Ann Patchett) in the way that it reveals how, in the aftermath of loss, we can discover our power and make something new and beautiful.

Maggie Smith is the award-winning author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful, Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Lamp of the Body, and the national bestsellers Goldenrod and Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received several Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has been widely published, appearing in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Best American Poetry, and more. You can follow her on social media @MaggieSmithPoet.

Maggie Smith is the award-winning author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful, Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Lamp of the Body, and the national bestsellers Goldenrod and Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received several Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has been widely published, appearing in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Best American Poetry, and more. You can follow her on social media @MaggieSmithPoet.

Buy one get one free

This month only!

Become a member and shop our members-only, 10th anniversary buy-one-get-one sale in support of local bookstores.

Get started

Reviews

"American poet Maggie Smith beautifully narrates her memoir of the end of her marriage and rediscovering herself as she picks up the pieces...Smith’s pacing makes each word and phrase more powerful. Her performance can be heartbreaking, but her narration is charming and poignant." Expand reviews
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more