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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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  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
A fantastic awakening of why our mothers are important, taking readers on a journey through motherhood in all its complexity, diversity, and humour. Based on a sensational national performance movement, the book showcases the experiences of ordinary people no matter their race, gender or age. It celebrates and validates what it means to be a mother today, with an honesty and candour that is arrestingly stimulating and refreshing. The stories express an eclectic mix of themes: adoption, emptying nests, first-time motherhood, foster-parenting.
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