A Buffalo in the House

The True Story of a Man, an Animal, and the American West

Marley and Me meets All Creatures Great and Small, as an ailing but lovable orphan buffalo joins a Santa Fe household

“I was completely hooked. A superb book. Rosen writes beautifully. I wish it could be read by everyone.” —Jeffrey Masson, bestselling author of When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love, and The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats

A sprawling suburban house in Santa Fe is not the kind of home where a buffalo normally roams, but Veryl Goodnight and Roger Brooks are not your ordinary animal lovers. Over a hundred years after Veryl’s ancestors, Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight, hand-raised two baby buffalo to help save the species from extinction, the sculptor and her husband adopt an orphaned buffalo calf of their own. Against a backdrop of the old American West, A Buffalo in the House tells the story of a household situation beyond any sitcom writer’s wildest dreams.

Charlie has no idea he’s a buffalo and Roger has no idea just how strong the bond between man and buffalo can be. In the historical shadow of the near-extermination of a majestic and misunderstood animal, Roger sets out to save just one buffalo.

Written in the tradition of Ian Frazier’s Great Plains and the work of Garrison Keillor and Bill Bryson, A Buffalo in the House tells an important, uplifting story about one animal’s ability to touch human lives and reconnect people of all ages to the vanished past.


“This is a book so riveting in its details that only after you’ve put it down do you begin to grasp the extent of Richard Rosen’s accomplishment. From the story of one stray baby bison named Charlie Buffalo and the family that took him in, Rosen has drawn a sweeping history of the American frontier—of the people who tried to destroy it and the ones determined to save it. I can’t remember when I’ve been instructed so gracefully, or entertained to such deep purpose.”
—Jane Kramer, staff writer, THE NEW YORKER

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