Books for Mother's Day
Celebrate Mother's Day with these books that examine all the different complex facets of motherhood.
All joy and no fun : the paradox of modern parenthood
Senior, Jennifer, author
Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But almost none have thought to ask: What are the effects of children on their parents?
In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources--in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology--she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations--and luxuriate in some of its fi nest rewards.
Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today--and tomorrow.
And now we have everything : on motherhood before I was ready
O'Connell, Meaghan, author
Selected as One of the Best Books of the Year by: National Public Radio, Esquire , Bustle , Refinery29 , Thrillist , Electric Literature , Powell's, Autostraddle , BookRiot , Women.com
"Smart, funny, and true in all the best ways, this book made me ache with recognition." -- Cheryl Strayed
A raw, funny, and fiercely honest account of becoming a mother before feeling like a grown up.
When Meaghan O'Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties and decided to keep the baby, she realized that the book she needed -- a brutally honest, agenda-free reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood -- didn't exist. So she decided to write it herself.
And Now We Have Everything is O'Connell's exploration of the cataclysmic, impossible-to-prepare-for experience of becoming a mother. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O'Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the fantasies of a "natural" birth experience that erode maternal self-esteem, post-partum body and sex issues, and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity.
Channeling fears and anxieties that are still taboo and often unspoken, And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank, funny, and visceral motherhood story for our times, about having a baby and staying, for better or worse, exactly yourself.
Are you my mother? : a comic drama
Bechdel, Alison, 1960-
From the best-selling author of Fun Home , Time magazine's No. 1 Book of the Year, a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.
Alison Bechdel's Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It's a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel's own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother--to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.
The bean trees : a novel
Kingsolver, Barbara, author
Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.
Available for the first time in mass-market, this edition of Barbara Kingsolver's bestselling novel, The Bean Trees, will be in stores everywhere in September. With two different but equally handsome covers, this book is a fine addition to your Kingsolver library.
From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana's wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana's childhood--in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. "How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?" Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.
Blue Nights --the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, "the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning"--like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.
The color of water : a black man's tribute to his white mother
'James McBride evokes his childhood trek across the great racial divide with the kind of power and grace that touches and uplifts all our hearts.' - Bebe Moore Campbell 'A triumph...The two stories, son's and mother's, beautifully juxtaposed, strike a graceful note at a time of racial polarization.' - The New York Times Book Review
Fly while you still have wings : and other lessons my resilient mother taught me
Rupp, Joyce, author
In this heartfelt memoir about her mother Hilda's final years, Joyce Rupp sharesthe lessons her mother taught her, especially to "fly while you still havewings." As a poor farmer's wife and the mother of eight living on rented land inMaryhill, Iowa, Hilda lived a life with hard labor and constant responsibility--frommilking cows and raising chickens to keeping the farm's financial ledger. Ruppshows how the difficulties of her mother's early years and family life, including theloss of a twenty‐three‐year‐old son, forged a resilience that guided her through theillnesses and losses she faced later on. This affectionate profile of their relationshipis, at the same time, an honest self‐examination as Rupp shares the ways she failedto listen to, accept, and understand her mother in her final years.Rupp begins each chapter with a meditative poem that captures the essence ofeach stage in the journey. Her unfailing candor and profound faith illumine thisstory of a mother and daughter with a universal spirit of hope, reconciliation, andpeace.Readers who care for the elderly will identify with the joys and sorrows that Ruppexperienced. Likewise, those who are grieving for a parent will find an open andsensitive portrayal of the conflicting emotions that arise in the process of lettinggo. Anyone approaching their elder years will discover a model of how to enter theaging process with dignity and honesty that accepts the
The good daughter : a memoir of my mother's hidden life
Darznik, Jasmin, 1973-
We were a world of two, my mother and I, until I started turning into an American girl. That's when she began telling me about The Good Daughter. It became a taunt, a warning, an omen.
Jasmin Darznik came to America from Iran when she was only three years old, and she grew up knowing very little about her family's history. When she was in her early twenties, on a day shortly following her father's death, Jasmin was helping her mother move; a photograph fell from a stack of old letters. The girl pictured was her mother. She was wearing a wedding veil, and at her side stood a man whom Jasmin had never seen before.
At first, Jasmin's mother, Lili, refused to speak about the photograph, and Jasmin returned to her own home frustrated and confused. But a few months later, she received from her mother the first of ten cassette tapes that would bring to light the wrenching hidden story of her family's true origins in Iran: Lili's marriage at thirteen, her troubled history of abuse and neglect, and a daughter she was forced to abandon in order to escape that life. The final tape revealed that Jasmin's sister, Sara - The Good Daughter - was still living in Iran.
In this sweeping, poignant, and beautifully written memoir, Jasmin weaves the stories of three generations of Iranian women into a unique tale of one family's struggle for freedom and understanding. The result is an enchanting and unforgettable story of secrets, betrayal, and the unbreakable mother-daughter bond.
I'm supposed to protect you from all this : a memoir
Spiegelman, Nadja, author
A Vogue Best Book of the Year
"What Ferrante did for female friends--exploring the tumult and complexity their relationships could hold--Spiegelman sets out to do for mothers and daughters. She's essentially written My Brilliant Mom." --Slate
A memoir of mothers and daughters--and mothers as daughters--traced through four generations, from Paris to New York and back again.
For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than her famous father, Maus creator Art Spiegelman, and even more than most mothers, hers--French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly--exerted a force over reality that was both dazzling and daunting. As Nadja's body changed and "began to whisper to the adults around me in a language I did not understand," their relationship grew tense. Unwittingly, they were replaying a drama from her mother's past, a drama Nadja sensed but had never been told. Then, after college, her mother suddenly opened up to her. Françoise recounted her turbulent adolescence caught between a volatile mother and a playboy father, one of the first plastic surgeons in France. The weight of the difficult stories she told her daughter shifted the balance between them.
It had taken an ocean to allow Françoise the distance to become her own person. At about the same age, Nadja made the journey in reverse, moving to Paris determined to get to know the woman her mother had fled. Her grandmother's memories contradicted her mother's at nearly every turn, but beneath them lay a difficult history of her own. Nadja emerged with a deeper understanding of how each generation reshapes the past in order to forge ahead, their narratives both weapon and defense, eternally in conflict. Every reader will recognize herself and her family in I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This, a gorgeous and heartbreaking memoir that helps us to see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most.
Alcott, Kathleen, author
"[E]xpect to find insights that make you stop, go back and read again.... Take it from us: You don't know what's coming in the last third of this book, and you will be astounded." -- O, the Oprah Magazine
A beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome together.
Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways--in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart--the renters struggle to navigate daily existence, and soon come to realize that Edith's deteriorating mind, and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, is the greatest challenge they must confront together.
Faced with eviction by Owen and his designs on the building, the tenants--Paulie, an unusually disabled man and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke--must find in one another what the world has not yet offered or has taken from them: family, respite, security, worth, love.
The threat to their home scatters them far from where they've begun, to an ascetic commune in Northern California, the motel rooms of depressed middle America, and a stunning natural phenomenon in Tennessee, endangering their lives and their visions of themselves along the way.
With humanity, humor, grace, and striking prose, Kathleen Alcott portrays these unforgettable characters in their search for connection, for a life worth living, for home.
The joy luck club
Tan, Amy, author
" The Joy Luck Club is one of my favorite books. From the moment I first started reading it, I knew it was going to be incredible. For me, it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime reading experiences that you cherish forever. It inspired me as a writer and still remains hugely inspirational." --Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians
Amy Tan's beloved, New York Times bestselling tale of mothers and daughters
Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.
With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.
The light between oceans : a novel
Stedman, M. L., author
The years-long New York Times bestseller soon to be a major motion picture from Spielberg's Dreamworks that is "irresistible...seductive...with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page" ( O, The Oprah Magazine ).
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a "gift from God," and against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
Little fires everywhere
Ng, Celeste, author
Soon to be a Hulu limited series, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington!
Named a Best Book of the Year by:
People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, Paste , Kirkus Reviews , St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more!
"I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting." -Jodi Picoult
"To say I love this book is an understatement. It's a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears." - Reese Witherspoon
"Extraordinary...Books like Little Fires Everywhere don't come along often." --John Green
"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." - Paula Hawkins
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You , a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood - and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.
Mom & me & mom
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A moving memoir about the legendary author's relationship with her own mother.
Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick!
The story of Maya Angelou's extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.
For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence--a presence absent during much of Angelou's early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom , Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call "Lady," revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.
Delving into one of her life's most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou's rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.
Praise for Mom & Me & Mom
" Mom & Me & Mom is delivered with Angelou's trademark good humor and fierce optimism. If any resentments linger between these lines, if lives are partially revealed without all the bitter details exposed, well, that is part of Angelou's forgiving design. As an account of reconciliation, this little book is just revealing enough, and pretty irresistible." -- The Washington Post
"Moving . . . a remarkable portrait of two courageous souls." -- People
"[The] latest, and most potent, of her serial autobiographies . . . [a] tough-minded, tenderhearted addition to Angelou's spectacular canon." -- Elle
"Mesmerizing . . . Angelou has a way with words that can still dazzle us, and with her mother as a subject, Angelou has a near-perfect muse and mystery woman." -- Essence
Heti, Sheila, 1976- author
A daring, funny, and poignant novel about the desire and duty to procreate, by one of our most brilliant and original writers.
Motherhood treats one of the most consequential decisions of early adulthood--whether or not to have children--with the intelligence, wit and originality that have won Sheila Heti international acclaim, and which led her previous work, How Should a Person Be? , to be called "one of the most talked-about books of the year" (TIME magazine).
Having reached an age when most of her peers are asking themselves when they will become mothers, Heti's narrator considers, with the same urgency, whether she will do so at all. Over the course of several years, under the influence of her partner, body, family, friends, mysticism and chance, she struggles to make a moral and meaningful choice.
In a compellingly direct mode that straddles the forms of the novel and the essay, Motherhood raises radical and essential questions about womanhood, parenthood, and how--and for whom--to live.
My name is Lucy Barton : a novel
Strout, Elizabeth, author
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all--the one between mother and daughter.
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
Praise for My Name Is Lucy Barton
"There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to--'I was so happy. Oh, I was happy'--simple joy." --Claire Messud, The New York Times Book Review
"Spectacular . . . Smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. . . . [Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times." --Lily King, The Washington Post
"A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . . . It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one." --Marion Winik, Newsday
"Potent with distilled emotion. Without a hint of self-pity, Strout captures the ache of loneliness we all feel sometimes." -- Time
"An aching, illuminating look at mother-daughter devotion." -- People
"A quiet, sublimely merciful contemporary novel about love, yearning, and resilience in a family damaged beyond words." -- The Boston Globe
"Sensitive, deceptively simple . . . It is Lucy's gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother's shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful. . . . [It's] more complex than it first appears, and all the more emotionally persuasive for it." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Strout maps the complex terrain of human relationships by focusing on that which is often unspoken and only implied. . . . A powerful addition to Strout's body of work." -- The Seattle Times
"Impressionistic and haunting . . . [Strout] reminds us of the power of our stories--and our ability to transcend our troubled narratives." -- Miami Herald
"Writing of this quality comes from a commitment to listening, from a perfect attunement to the human condition, from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue." --Hilary Mantel
"Magnificent." --Ann Patchett
Operating instructions : a journal of my son's first year
Lamott, Anne, author
With the same brilliant combination of humor and warmth she brought to bestseller Bird by Bird , Anne Lamott gives us a smart, funny, and comforting chronicle of single motherhood.
It's not like she's the only woman to ever have a baby. At thirty-five. On her own. But Anne Lamott makes it all fresh in her now-classic account of how she and her son and numerous friends and neighbors and some strangers survived and thrived in that all important first year. From finding out that her baby is a boy (and getting used to the idea) to finding out that her best friend and greatest supporter Pam will die of cancer (and not getting used to that idea), with a generous amount of wit and faith (but very little piousness), Lamott narrates the great and small events that make up a woman's life.
"Lamott has a conversational style that perfectly conveys her friendly, self-depricating humor." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Lamott is a wonderfully lithe writer .... Anyone who has ever had a hard time facing a perfectly ordinary day will identify." -- Chicago Tribune
One of the most popular and acclaimed of Latin American authors presents an unforgettable memoir. An exquisitely rendered, deeply moving mother-daughter story that doubles as Allende's autobiography, Paula is a prodigious evocation and a hymn to life, written from the heart.
MOST OF MY friends now go to Pius Senior College, but my mother wouldn't allow it because she says the girls there leave with limited options and she didn't bring me up to have limitations placed upon me. If you know my mother, you'll sense there's an irony there, based on the fact that she is the Queen of the Limitation Placers in my life.
Francesca battles her mother, Mia, constantly over what's best for her. All Francesca wants is her old friends and her old school, but instead Mia sends her to St. Sebastian's, an all-boys' school that has just opened its doors to girls. Now Francesca's surrounded by hundreds of boys, with only a few other girls for company. All of them weirdos--or worse.
Then one day, Mia is too depressed to get out of bed. One day turns into months, and as her family begins to fall apart, Francesca realizes that without her mother's high spirits, she hardly knows who she is. But she doesn't yet realize that she's more like Mia than she thinks. With a little unlikely help from St. Sebastian's, she just might be able to save her family, her friends, and--especially--herself.
From the Hardcover edition.
The slippery year : a meditation on happily ever after
Gideon, Melanie, 1963-
Melanie Gideon's hilarious memoir is a disarmingly honest take on marriage and motherhood by a woman who realized she was sleepwalking through life and decided she needed to do something about it.
The Slippery Year chronicles her struggle to rediscover meaning and pleasure in life while navigating the comical ups and downs of cohabiting with a husband, a child, and a dog: mattress wars with her snoring mate, the psychological minefield of the school carpool line, and sending her son to sleep-away camp for the first time. Gideon manages to be laugh-out-loud funny while also reflecting beautifully and movingly on her quest to appreciate what she has.
Stuck in the middle with you : a memoir of parenting in three genders
Boylan, Jennifer Finney, 1958-
New York Times bestseller and acclaimed author Jennifer Finney Boylan returns with a remarkable memoir about gender and parenting, including incredible interviews discussing gender, how families are shaped, and the difficulties and wonders of being human.
A father for ten years, a mother for eight, and for a time in between, neither, or both ("the parental version of the schnoodle, or the cockapoo"), Jennifer Finney Boylan has seen parenthood from both sides of the gender divide. When her two children were young, Boylan came out as transgender, and as Jenny transitioned from a man to a woman and from a father to a mother, her family faced unique challenges and questions. In this thoughtful, tear-jerking, hilarious memoir, Jenny asks what it means to be a father, or a mother, and to what extent gender shades our experiences as parents. "It is my hope," she writes, "that having a father who became a woman in turn helped my sons become better men."
Through both her own story and incredibly insightful interviews with others, including Richard Russo, Edward Albee, Ann Beattie, Augusten Burroughs, Susan Minot, Trey Ellis, Timothy Kreider, and more, Jenny examines relationships with fathers and mothers, people's memories of the children they were and the parents they became, and the many different ways a family can be. Followed by an Afterword by Anna Quindlen that includes Jenny and her wife discussing the challenges they've faced and the love they share, Stuck in the Middle with You is a brilliant meditation on raising - and on being - a child.
What we lose
Clemmons, Zinzi, author
A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree
NBCC John Leonard First Book Prize Finalist
Aspen Words Literary Prize Finalist
California Book Award First Fiction Finalist
Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Debut Novel Nominee
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction & the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize
Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue , NPR, Elle , Esquire , Buzzfeed , San Francisco Chronicle, Cosmopolitan, T he Huffington Post, The A.V. Club , The Root , Harper's Bazaar, Paste , Bustle , Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, LitHub, New York Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Bust
"The debut novel of the year." -- Vogue
"Like so many stories of the black diaspora, What We Lose is an examination of haunting." --Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker
"A richly volatile study of grief, wonderment and love." --Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"A startling, poignant debut." -- The Atlantic
"Raw and ravishing, this novel pulses with vulnerability and shimmering anger." --Nicole Dennis-Benn, O, the Oprah Magazine
"Stunning. . . . Powerfully moving and beautifully wrought, What We Lose reflects on family, love, loss, race, womanhood, and the places we feel home." -- Buzzfeed
"Remember this name: Zinzi Clemmons. Long may she thrill us with exquisite works like What We Lose . . . . The book is a remarkable journey." --Essence
From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age--a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country
Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother's childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor--someone, or something, to love.
In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi's life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss. An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman's understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.
One of the New York Times , Huffington Post , Buzzfeed , Cosmopolitan , Glamour , Redbook , Marie Claire , Essence , Houston Chronicle , LA Daily News , Nylon , and Elle 's Books to Read This Summer
Where'd you go, Bernadette : a novel
Semple, Maria, author
A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this whip-smart and "divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett ( New York Times ).
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and surprisingly touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
Why be happy when you could be normal?
Winterson, Jeanette, 1959-
Heartbreaking and funny: the true story behind Jeanette's bestselling and most beloved novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit .
In 1985, at twenty-five, Jeanette published Oranges , the story of a girl adopted by Pentecostal parents, supposed to grow up to be a missionary. Instead, she falls in love with a woman. Disaster.
Oranges became an international bestseller, inspired an award-winning BBC adaptation, and was semi-autobiographical. Mrs. Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over the novel and the author's life: when Jeanette left home at sixteen because she was in love with a woman, Mrs. Winterson asked her: Why be happy when you could be normal? This is Jeanette's story--acute, fierce, celebratory--of a life's work to find happiness: a search for belonging, love, identity, a home.
About a young girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night, and a mother waiting for Armageddon with two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the duster drawer; about growing up in a northern industrial town; about the Universe as a Cosmic Dustbin. She thought she had written over the painful past until it returned to haunt her and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother. It is also about other people's stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft that supports us when we are sinking.
Wild swans : three daughters of China.
The story of three generations in twentieth-century China that blends the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history--a bestselling classic in thirty languages with more than ten million copies sold around the world, now with a new introduction from the author.
An engrossing record of Mao's impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord's concubine; her mother's struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents' experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a "barefoot doctor," a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving--and ultimately uplifting--detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.