mother

Whether married, single, widowed, divorced, with children or without, at some point women inevitably ask the question, "What's next for me?"

Amy Nobile and Trisha Ashworth create a road map for how to embrace and thrive in this new phase of life in their book, "Just When You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin, It Starts to Sag: Rewriting the Rules to Midlife."

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them.

If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she'd ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she's the Nazis' worst nightmare.

Matt Killeen's new novel is "Orphan Monster Spy."

Tyra Banks is many things: a world-famous supermodel, the creator, executive producer, and host of longest-running fashion-reality show "America’s Next Top Model," and Emmy-winning talk show, "The Tyra Show," to name just a few.

In her new book, co-written with her mother, "Perfect Is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, and Being a Boss," the mother-daughter duo recall the signature mix of pep talks and tough love that shaped Tyra and helped her become the beloved mogul she is today.

"Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting" was conceived when Patricia Nugent realized, at her mother’s funeral, that she knew very little about her mother’s life before her mother was her mother. She’d never asked; her mother had never offered. Nugent deeply regretted missing the opportunity to know her mother more fully. To inspire other families to share personal histories, she compiled this anthology of real-life stories about women before they were mothers.

In addition to deeply evocative first-person accounts, "Before They Were Our Mothers" offers readers a personal glimpse of world events from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, as written in that moment by current-day descendants. We are joined by Patricia Nugent (editor), Sue Van Hook (author) and Crystal Hamelink (author). There will be a reading from the book at Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY on Thursday, February 15 at 7 p.m.

Tom Perrotta’s novel, "Mrs. Fletcher," is a provocative and very funny look at parenthood, the empty nest, and sex in the suburbs.

Perrotta is the author of eight works of fiction including "Election," "Joe College" and "Little Children." His novel "The Leftovers" was adapted into an HBO series. 

Listener Essay - Resistance Knitting

Dec 12, 2017

Lynn Elliot Francis has attended the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Hudson Valley Writer's Center, and studied with poet, Sparrow, and the author, Martha Frankel. 

Resistance Knitting

On election night 2016, I poured myself a glass of wine and cozied up on the couch with my knitting. The local NPR station was on. In their voices I heard the same cheerful expectation in my own heart. Together, we would bear witness to an historic event: the election of the first female president of the United States.

My mother was a knitter. She made sweaters for my father, my brothers and, from the same pattern, for me. I was a reluctant recipient, never feeling they were particularly flattering. One special sweater, I lent, long-term, to my broad-shouldered college boyfriend.

Listener Essay - Moving Over

Nov 2, 2017

Moving Over

Today was my mother Teresa’s wake. As I drifted out of sleep that morning, the telephone rang, beginning one of the weirdest phone calls of my life.

“Hello Deborah?” It was Phil Bocketti from the funeral home. “We have an issue. It’s not your problem, and it’s not mine, but we have to get a decision anyway.”

Under the collective name of Kennedy-Smith, our family owned a six-grave plot at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery in Troy. My grandparents were buried alongside one another; the other graves were for their two daughters and their respective spouses. The cemetery caretaker, upon reviewing the records, found Aunt Josie, who never married, was buried right next to Dad.

Phil continued: “The caretaker wants to know what he should do. If we bury your mother like it is now, she won’t be next to your father. If we move your Aunt Josie, we may have to dig more graves. What do you think?”

“Phil, they’re all dead, right? Who cares?”

Paul Theroux is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari.

Mother Land is a piercing portrait of how a parent’s narcissism impacts a family. While the particulars of this tale are unique, Theroux encapsulates with acute clarity and wisdom a circumstance that is familiar to legions of readers.


  This Thursday at 4 p.m., The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts presents Women Writing Through Loss: Connecting Through Calamity featuring Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Rebecca Soffer, and Emily Rapp Black as they read from their work and discuss the power of connection as friends, as writers, as mothers, and as women who forged powerful friendships after experiencing great personal loss, and writing their way out of it.

 

Rebecca Soffer joined us to tell us more.

Thousands of pregnant women pass through our nation’s jails every year. What happens to them as they carry their pregnancies in a space of punishment? In this time when the public safety net is frayed, incarceration has become a central and racialized strategy for managing the poor.

In her book Jailcare, Carolyn Sufrin explores how jail has, paradoxically, become a place where women can find care. Carolyn Sufrin is a medical anthropologist and an obstetrician-gynecologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Sarah LaDuke and Myra Lucretia Taylor
Joe Donahue


  Mourning the loss of her elder son Myles, Bethea tries to help her younger son Gideon through his grief. But as revelations surrounding Myles’ incarceration and death emerge, both mother and son must decide whether to fight or let go.

Where Storms Are Born is a new play by Harrison David Rivers having its world premiere on the Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA through July 23rd. Rivers was the Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-in-Residence in 2016.

The play is directed by Saheem Ali and stars Myra Lucretia Taylor as Bethea Solomon - a woman living in grief and demonstrating love and resilience.

Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, his latest is House of Names. The book is his reimagining of one of the most famous Greek tragedies – the stories of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Iphigeneia, Electra, and Orestes.

Listener Essay - The Deputation

Jun 16, 2017

Gayu Seenumani immigrated to the US from Chennai India – where her parents still live. She is an engineer working at GE Global Research. She lives in Niskayuna with her husband.

The Deputation

To love is to devote. My experience says so.

My adolescence was marked with my mother being sent away. Or that was how I felt. In fact, she was chosen to work for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a stint, aka., government deputation. She would visit us once a year. These visits were marked by the anticipation that it would be the last. In those years, my father would pick her from the airport and after 20 days, a taxi arrived for her return trip. We would cry profusely saying our good-byes, went into our home and continued crying. Our father returned from the airport, took us for a walk where he would tell us that the year would fly by. That night, he hugged us with the promise that my mother would be back very soon for good. We three slept. This repeated.

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels TrianglesCollateral, and Love Lies Beneath.

Her latest is The You I've Never Known.

Listener Essay - Yearning

Apr 24, 2017

Debbie Slack enjoys hiking in CT, especially at Trail Wood, the home of Edwin and Nellie Teale, with her husband Bob and their two Labs. Besides exploring, Debbie loves when her four children and their families can spend time together. Presently Deb is on a mission searching for “the” literary agent to represent her novel, Henry Cooper and the Gutsy Girls. Deb believes there is value in everyone’s words and is leading the Writers’ Clinic in her home town of Tolland, CT. 

Alice Hoffman has written more than thirty works of fiction, including The Museum of Extraordinary Things, The Dovekeepers and Practical Magic. Her latest novel is Faithful. It tells the story of a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.

  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.

Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, Paint it Black, will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - tonight at 6:30 at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock and Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties at 5:30 p.m. She will also participate in the festival’s "Women in Film and Media" panel on Saturday October 15 at the Kleinert James Art Center in Woodstock. Other participants in the panel are Bette Gordon, Catherine Hardwicke, and Mary Stewart Masterson. The panel is moderated by Thelma Adams.

Based on the novel of the same name by Janet Fitch, Paint it Black explores and explodes the confusion of grief when Josie’s boyfriend, Michael, commits suicide and his death brings her into the orbit of his powerful and powerfully cold and heartbroken mother, Meredith. Their strained relationship circling around who knew Michael better, who loved him more, and what can they get from - and do to - each other now that he is gone.

Tamblyn co-wrote the adaptation with Ed Dougherty. It stars Alia Shawkat as Josie and Janet McTeer as Meredith.

Living on a homestead in Homer, Alaska, singer-songwriter Jewel learned to yodel at age five, and joined her parents’ entertainment act, working in hotels, honky-tonks, and biker bars. Behind a strong-willed family life with an emphasis on music and artistic talent, however, there was also instability, abuse, and trauma.

At age fifteen, she moved out and tasked herself with a mission: to see if she could avoid being the kind of statistic that her past indicated for her future. Soon after, she was accepted to the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and there she began writing her own songs as a means of expressing herself and documenting her journey to find happiness.

Jewel was eighteen and homeless in San Diego when a radio DJ aired a bootleg version of one of her songs and it was requested into the top-ten countdown, something unheard-of for an unsigned artist. By the time she was twenty-one, her debut had gone multiplatinum.

Jewel’s memoir Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story is out in paperback.

A former child actor best known for her starring roles in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and out of place: as the only kid on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, a Valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and a grown-up the world still remembers as a little girl.

Tackling everything from what she learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to discovering in adolescence that she was no longer “cute” enough for Hollywood, her book, Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, charts her journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity.

  Ariel Leve is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Guardian, Financial Times Magazine, the Telegraph, the Observer, and the London Sunday Times Magazine, where she was a senior writer and a columnist.

Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as “a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.” Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsyturvy world of conditional love?

She writes about her life and her mother in he memoir, An Abbreviated Life.

  In 1979, Liz Pryor was a seventeen-year-old girl from a good family in the wealthy Chicago suburbs. Halfway through her senior year of high school, she discovered she was pregnant—a fact her parents are determined to keep a secret from her friends, siblings, and community forever.

One snowy January day, after driving across three states, her mother dropped her off at what Liz thinks is a Catholic home for unwed mothers—but which is, in truth, a locked government-run facility for delinquent and impoverished pregnant teenage girls.

Liz Pryor has written her story in the new book, Look at You Now. Pryor has written a deeply moving story and she share with us this morning. Liz Pryor is an author, speaker, parenting columnist, and life advice expert. She currently serves as ABC’s Good Morning America on-air life advice guru. 

  "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to the news that she was on her way from Texas, I panicked. She was the last person I wanted to see on that dark September morning, but the person I needed the most."

So begins this astonishing memoir ― by turns both darkly comic and deeply poignant ― about this native Texan's long struggle with alcohol, his complicated relationship with Mama Jean, and his sexuality. The book is listed as “Required Reading” in Mary Karr’s bestselling The Art of Memoir and was a Book Chase Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2015.

Margaux Bergen began writing her new book when her daughter Charlotte turned nine and she gave it to her right after graduation from high school, when she was setting off for her first day of college.

In Navigating Life: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Bergen shares her own lessons learned in hopes that her trials and errors might benefit her daughter as she set off for college and prepares to navigate life for the first time on her own.

Margaux Bergen has spent the last twenty years raising three children and working all over the world at large and small institutions focused on international development and women’s leadership.


  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. 

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