mother


  In her one woman show, Forever, Pulitzer prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith travels to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where, by the graves of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison, she finds unexpected grace in a gripping tale of the legacy a daughter inherits from her mother.

Forever opens tonight on Weston Playhouse’s OtherStages in Weston Vermont, directed by Steve Stettler.

  Best known of award-winning New York Times and Newsweek columns, Anna Quindlen returns with her eighth novel, Miller's Valley. 

The setting is a farming valley in Pennsylvania during the height of the Viet Nam War. Outside influences like the war and a government plan to flood the valley affect the lives of one family - and the community.

  The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.
 
When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness. 

His book is Boy Erased: A Memoir.

  Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.
  
Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day.

  Gone with the Mind is Mark Leyner’s latest novel – in which a character named Mark Leyner is to give a reading from his autobiography, also entitled Gone with the Mind, in a mall food court. 

  Brooke Shields never had what anyone would consider an ordinary life. She was raised by her single mom, Teri, a woman who loved the world of show business and was often a media sensation all by herself. Brooke's iconic modeling career began by chance when she was only eleven months old, and Teri's skills as both Brooke's mother and manager were formidable. But in private she was troubled and drinking heavily.

In There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me, Shields tells her story of the remarkable, difficult, complicated woman who was her mother.

  March 18th through the 20th, Rachel Siegel and WAM Theatre will present a workshop production of SPECIAL – a play in development created and performed by Rachel Siegel – at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA.

Based on personal experience and inspired by interviews with mothers of children with special needs, SPECIAL follows one woman's journey after she discovers she is pregnant with a child with Down syndrome.

Rachel Siegel joins us now along with Jayne Atkinson who is acting as co-director for the workshop.

  On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.

For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?

These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible.

  Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout’s bestselling novels Olive Kitteridge  and The Burgess Boys  have illuminated our most tender relationships.

Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, she shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter.

    

  In her latest novel, After Birth, Elisa Albert writes about motherhood and friendship. The book tells the story of Ari who lives in a town in upstate New York and is supposed to be working on a Ph.D. in women’s studies but she has major postpartum depression.

The book issues a wake-up call to a culture that turns its new mothers into exiles and expects them to act like natives.

  When Sukey Forbes lost her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, to a rare genetic disorder, her life felt as if it were shattered forever. Descended from two distinguished New England families, Forbes was raised in a rarefied—if eccentric—life of privilege. Yet, Forbes’s family history is also rich with spiritual seekers, including her great-great-great-grandfather Ralph Waldo Emerson. On the family’s private island enclave off Cape Cod, apparitions have always been as common as the servants who once walked the back halls. But the “afterlife” took on new meaning once Forbes dipped into the world of clairvoyants to reconnect with Charlotte.

With a mission to help others by sharing her own story, Forbes chronicles a world of ghosts that reawakens us to a lost American spiritual tradition. The Angel in My Pocket tells a moving tale of one mother’s undying love for her child.

  When you enlist in the United States military, you don’t just sign up for duty; you also commit your loved ones to lives of service all their own. No one knows this better than Elaine Brye, an “Army brat” turned military wife and the mother of four officers—one each in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

For more than a decade she’s endured countless teary goodbyes, empty chairs at Thanksgiving dinners, and sleepless hours waiting for phone calls in the night. She’s navigated the complicated tangle of emotions—pride, worry, fear, hope, and deep, enduring love—that are part and parcel of life as a military mother.

  Can You Hear Me Baby? Stories of Sex, Love, and OMG Birth! is being presented as a staged reading with music on March 27th and 28th at Berkshire Theatre Group's Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA as a benefit for the National Perinatal Association, Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and WAM Theatre.

Written by Lisa Rafel, with music by Lisa Rafel and Gary Malkin, Can You Hear Me Baby? brings together birth stories and original music to dramatize the joy, challenges, personal courage and profundity of birth.

Here to tell us more are playwright Lisa Rafel and the production’s director/producer Jayne Atkinson.

Swoosie Kurtz

Aug 20, 2014

    

  In Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family, Swoosie Kurtz shares just the right combination of personal misadventure and showbiz lore, candidly reflecting on the right choices that empowered her, the wrong choices that enlightened her, and the intimate journey of caring for an aging parent.

  In her new book, Rescuing Julia Twice, Tina Traster tells foreign-adoption story - from dealing with the bleak landscape and inscrutable adoption handlers in Siberia, to her feelings of inexperience and ambivalence at being a new mother in her early forties, to her growing realization over months then years that something was “not quite right” with her daughter, Julia, who remained cold and emotionally detached.

Listener Essay - Mother's Day Retort

May 9, 2014

  Kate Cohen is a writer and editor in Albany, New York. You can find more of her work at katecohen.net.

    

  This Sunday is Mother’s Day and today in our Ideas Matter segment, we’ll learn about representations of women and motherhood in film from Dr. Jennifer Creech, she served as a panelist a recent New York State Humanities Council-funded film series, "Celebrating Women of Courage and Character" at Rochester's Little Theater Film Society.

Professor Creech received her Ph.D. in Germanic Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2006. She is an Assistant Professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures at the University of Rochester and is an Affiliate Faculty member in the Film & Media Studies Program and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Women's Studies.

    Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son is Lori Duron’s poignant memoir of her adventures in raising a gender creative child. The book comes from Lori’s popular blog of the same name.

Raising My Rainbow is the story of her family as they navigate the often challenging but never dull privilege of raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son.

  On December 14, 2012, Scarlett Lewis experienced something that no parent should ever have to endure: she lost her son Jesse in an act of unimaginable violence. The day started just like any other, but when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Scarlett’s life changed forever.

Following Jesse’s death, Scarlett went on an unexpected journey, inspired by a simple three-word message he had scrawled on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died: Norurting Helin Love (Nurturing Healing Love). It was as if he knew just what his family would need in order to go on after this horrible tragedy.

**As mentioned in the interview posted here, J.T. Lewis' website is newtownhelpsrwanda.org.**

    Award-winning poet Jeanne Murray Walker tells an extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching tale of her mother's long passage into dementia.

This powerful story explores parental love, profound grief, and the unexpected consolation of memory.

  The documentary feature film, Breastmilk is screening as part of the upcoming Woodstock Film Festival.

Despite endless research on the benefits of breastfeeding, the stigma surrounding the natural practice has led to a new world of motherhood where maternity confronts sexuality and naturalists are confront a culture of baby formula, breast pumps and skepticism. The film features a wide range of frank and revealing interviews with breastfeeding women as they addresses the many questions around breast milk.

First time director/producer Dana Ben-Ari joins us now to talk about her experience making the film.

  This segment begins with audio from an episode of the 1980s television series, Fame. In the clip, Carol Burnett performs with the eldest of her three daughters, Carrie.  Carrie was a series regular and Carol joined the program as a guest star.

In 2002 - at the age of 38 - Carrie died of cancer. 

The new book, Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story is Carol Burnett’s poignant tribute to her late daughter and a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman through the struggles and triumphs of her life. Sharing her personal diary entries, photographs, and correspondence, Carol traces the journey she and Carrie took through some of life’s toughest challenges.

    Kristine Barnett’s son Jacob has an IQ higher than Einstein’s, a photographic memory, and he taught himself calculus in two weeks.

But the story of Kristine’s journey with Jake is all the more remarkable because his extraordinary mind was almost lost to autism.

5/29/13 - Panel

May 29, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain. Ray Graf moderates.

Topics include:
Moms Are Now Primary Breadwinners In 40 Percent Of Homes
Drone Protestors
Racino
Racism
Circling the media wagons

    The Friday before Mother’s Day in 2011, we had Dave Isay on to talk about the book, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps. As many of you know, StoryCorps is an oral history project designed to document the fascinating lives or normal people. That Spring, Sarah LaDuke's  Mom - Carolyn - turned 70 and retired, so she copied the StoryCorps model (they encourage everyone to do so) and we aired some of her recorded conversation with her mom.

Since that conversation, Carolyn LaDuke has been through a lot. She survived a heart attack in October of 2011 and was diagnosed - for the second time - with breast cancer in late September of 2012. She has recently finished two extremely trying rounds of chemotherapy and should begin radiation soon. This Friday before Mother’s Day - today - we wanted to share a new interview with Sarah's Mom.

    In her new book, Mom & Me & Mom, Maya 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. It is a tribute to motherhood and unconditional love.

    Mary Williams was born to Black Panther parents during the heart of the Black Power movement in Oakland, Calif., in the 1970s. She was just a toddler when her father went to San Quentin prison.

Her mother, struggled to support the family on her own, turning to alcohol, as her oldest sister turned to crack and prostitution. But when Williams was sent to spend the summer at a camp run by Jane Fonda, her life began to change.

Over the course of several summers, Fonda and Williams grew close, and eventually, the Hollywood star invited Williams, at age 16, to come live with her in Santa Monica. This was the beginning of a journey, which she chronicles in her new memoir, The Lost Daughter.

Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, Italian town north of Boston. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious figure in this place, was a drug addict and sometime dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches, whose highbrow taste was at odds with her base appetites.

With or Without You: A Memoir is the story of Domenica Ruta’s unconventional coming of age—a darkly hilarious chronicle of a misfit ’90s childhood and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process.

Will Schwalbe - The End of Your Life Book Club

Jan 8, 2013

When Will Schwalbe’s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer life for her family and friends didn’t come to a stop, but morphed into something even more beautiful. Her compassion towards others never faltered, her grown children learned more about themselves and her, and a bond solidified as Will and his mother unconsciously formed The End of Your Life Book Club.