What My Mother and I Don't Talk About

What My Mother and I Don't Talk About

Fifteen Writers Break the Silence

Book - 2019
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*Most Anticipated Reads of 2019 Selection by Publishers Weekly , BuzzFeed , The Rumpus , Lit Hub , The Week , and Elle.com*

Fifteen brilliant writers explore what we don't talk to our mothers about, and how it affects us, for better or for worse.

As an undergraduate, Michele Filgate started writing an essay about being abused by her stepfather. It took her more than a decade to realize what she was actually trying to write: how this affected her relationship with her mother. When it was finally published, the essay went viral, shared on social media by Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, and many others. The outpouring of responses gave Filgate an idea, and the resulting anthology offers a candid look at our relationships with our mothers.

While some of the writers in this book are estranged from their mothers, others are extremely close. Leslie Jamison writes about trying to discover who her seemingly perfect mother was before ever becoming a mom. In Cathi Hanauer's hilarious piece, she finally gets a chance to have a conversation with her mother that isn't interrupted by her domineering (but lovable) father. André Aciman writes about what it was like to have a deaf mother. Melissa Febos uses mythology as a lens to look at her close-knit relationship with her psychotherapist mother. And Julianna Baggott talks about having a mom who tells her everything .

As Filgate writes, "Our mothers are our first homes, and that's why we're always trying to return to them." There's relief in breaking the silence. Acknowledging what we couldn't say for so long is one way to heal our relationships with others and, perhaps most important, with ourselves.

Contributors include Cathi Hanauer, Melissa Febos, Alexander Chee, Dylan Landis, Bernice L. McFadden, Julianna Baggott, Lynn Steger Strong, Kiese Laymon, Carmen Maria Machado, André Aciman, Sari Botton, Nayomi Munaweera, Brandon Taylor, and Leslie Jamison.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, [2019]
ISBN: 9781982107345
Characteristics: xviii, 267 pages ; 23 cm

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KatieD_KCMO Jun 04, 2019

This collection of essays ranged from heartwarming to heart-wrenching. It was a quick read. Some of the essays felt longer than necessary and some of the writers left me wanting to hear more. No matter the relationship with your mother, you'll probably find something you can relate to in this collection. Even though the situation wasn't the same, I connected with a few of the writers sentiments, like when Carmen Maria Machado wrote in her essay, "It felt like I was existing in a parallel universe where everything I'd just done with my life, everything I was doing with my life, hadn't made any difference at all. I was a kid again, useless."

Highly recommend if you're looking for something to ignite your own self-reflection.

This collection of essays ranged from heartwarming to heart-wrenching. It was a quick read. Some of the essays felt longer than necessary and some of the writers I wanted to hear more from. No matter your relationship with your mother, you'll probably find something you relate to in this collection. Even if the situation wasn't the same, I connected with a few of the writers struggles, like when Carmen Maria Machado wrote in her essay, "It felt like I was existing in a parallel universe where everything I'd just done with my life, everything I was doing with my life, hadn't made any difference at all. I was a kid again, useless."

Highly recommend if you're looking for something to ignite your own self-reflection.

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