Because I Said so: 33 Mothers Write about Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves
By Kate Moses, Camille Peri, Harper Collins , April 2005
The challenges facing mothers in the twenty-first century go well beyond tantrum control and potty training. Camille Peri and Kate Moses, the founding editors of Salon.com 's "Mothers Who Think" column and the subsequent anthology of the same name, have once again compiled a selection of intimate and fiercely honest essays on the profound issues that affect women and their children.
Moses and Peri, who edited Mothers Who Think, an American Book Award-winning anthology based on a Salon.com column, have gathered some 33 talented mothers (including writers Rosellen Brown, Janet Fitch, Ayelet Waldman and Ann Hulbert, among others) discussing aspects of "real motherhood" today. True, most of their issues-spousal abuse, divorce, cancer, step-parenting, single mothering-aren't new.
Some contributors, like Mariane Pearl, the widow of journalist Danny Pearl, have even published their thoughts elsewhere. What's magical about this collection, though, is what happens when such diverse accounts are stitched together in a single volume: a new picture emerges of what it means to be a mother in modern America. Chemo treatments may leave you bald. Your kids may suffer from "KGOY-kids growing older younger," and as they test your limits, you may find yourself "morphing into some authoritarian freak." If you're black, people may assume you're your own child's nanny. But as one woman discovered traveling solo to Cairo to see a particular set of Roman-era memorial portraits in the Egyptian Museum, the acknowledgment "of death, of loss, of suffering, as well as of desire and remembered joy" is all "part of living."
Skip the flowers and candy this Mother's Day, and buy this book instead. Agent, Ellen Levine. (May 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.