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Listen to your mother : what she said then, what we're saying now
2015
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
Anthology
Essay
Family & relationships
Topics
Mothers
Motherhood
Parenthood
Women's lives
Personal narratives
Time Period
2010s -- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Editor Imig expands upon the conversations about motherhood she has helped develop in the blogosphere and on social media via the performance movement Listen to Your Mother. This collection serves as a significant contribution to literature on and about motherhood because it breaks down the isolation that so often surrounds the topic. Imig has selected essays by writers whose identities as mothers or their interactions with such women reflect the diversity and complexity of the responsibility. There are stories from gay and lesbian families, military moms, widows, and even single dads discussing issues such as adoption, surrogacy, and disabilities. Unfortunately, a few essays suffer from an undercurrent of feminist misogyny. Amy Poehler's Yes Please mentions this phenomenon in a hilarious yet accurate way (e.g., she identifies how stay-at-home mothers and working mothers often say cruel things about one another's choices in the guise of compliments). Even though the material is funny, humor at the expense of different models of motherhood tears down the idea of community that a collection like this can and should generate. VERDICT Despite a few problems, these candid writings feel like a dinner date with a group of smart mothers who share their successes and failures with wit, fear, melancholy, playfulness, and all of the emotions that surround the reality of parenting. [See Prepub Alert, 10/27/14.]-Emily Bowles, Building for Kids Children Museum, Appleton, WI (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

According to blogger Imig, Mother's Day has been turned into another overly commercialized holiday. She thus launched, in 2010, a movement called Listen to Your Mother, which aims to return Mother's Day to its original focus on mothers and motherhood, principally by gathering women to write stories and engage in live readings. The book of the same name gathers together 56 of those stories. Topics range from adoption to adolescence, from losing a spouse or a child to the most lighthearted aspects of parenting. The stories in the collection run the gamut, and the result is varied enough to ensure that readers who don't identify with one tale will easily find resonance in another. Some will leave readers laughing out loud, while others will leave them crying. All of this collection's stories, however, have one thing in common: readers will be left planning to call their mothers. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Fiercely irreverent, thought-provoking, hilarious, and edgy - a spirited wake-up call about modern-day mothering In 2010, Ann Imig decided Mother's Day was lacking- instead of being solely a retail-driven holiday, the focus should be family. By bringing our community together to share personal stories about our mothers, we could get back to the core of why mothering is important. That year, she organized a live reading, and so 'Listen to Your Mother' was born. Now it's a rapidly growing movement that's sweeping the nation. Like the live readings, the anthology Listen to Your Mother is a brutally honest look at modern motherhood. It showcases the experiences of ordinary people of different races, genders, and ages, and takes readers on a journey through motherhood in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor. Acutely stimulating, and filled with pathos and candor, the contributors' stories share their experiences with adoption, assimilation, and emptying nests; first-time motherhood, foster parenting, and infertility; LGBTQ parenting, special-needs parenting, and surrogacy; step-mothering, never mothering, and mothering through illness. Their essays are devastatingly funny, refreshingly edgy, and deeply thought-provoking; they are the collective voice of mothers among us. Whether you are one, have one, or know one, Listen to Your Mother is an emotional whirlwind that is guaranteed to entertain, amuse, and enlighten. Praise for Listen to Your Mother 'With their authentic glimpses into this hard, beautiful thing we call life, the essays between these covers led me to fresh perspectives on mothering and being mothered. I savored the open vulnerability that met me with each turn of the page. From the hilarious to the profound, and not bound by gender or geography, these stories generously plumbed the depths of all that is motherhood.' Anna Whiston Donaldson, New York Times -bestselling author of Rare Bird 'I've been a longtime fan of Ann's Listen to Your Mother movement, and I just adore this collection. The stories are diverse, yet bound together by Listen to Your Mother's trademark rawness and honesty. A perfect gift for any woman in your life . . . or yourself!' Jill Smokler, New York Times -bestselling author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy ' Listen to Your Mothe r manages to do what few anthologies do- it makes us see ourselves clearly through the eyes of many different writers - all gifted and many wickedly funny. These writers voice the things that everyone thinks and no one says. Long live the mothers!' Suzanne Finnamore, award-winning author of Split
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