Mothers

Attachments fierce, funny, fateful, and forever.

 


 

Fierce Attachments

By Vivian Gornick

 

This memoir by one of our most eloquent essayists details, with alertness and candor, the Bronx-born-and-raised Gornick's struggle to liberate herself from her mother's fierce grip. It's a doomed battle, redeemed by an adult recognition of the way love, in the end, outlasts liberty.

 

 


 

The Joy Luck Club

By Amy Tan

 

Tan's brilliant, bestselling 1989 novel moves around a mah jong table to reveal -- in the moving life stories of four Chinese-American women and their daughters -- the power of the mysteries, truths, and consequences one generation embodies for another.

 

 

 


 

The Color of Water

By James McBride

 

Subtitled A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, McBride's poignant exploration of his biracial identity bears witness to the life of Ruth Shilsky McBride Jordan, a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland and raised in the American South, who moved to Harlem, married a black man, and put 12 kids through college.

 

 

 


 

Life Among the Savages

By Shirley Jackson

 

The author of the novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle and the hauntingly horrifying short story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson was a master of the psychologically macabre. Here she reveals a different side to her disposition, recounting with hilarity and comic exasperation just how crazy raising kids can be.

 

 

 


 

The Florist's Daughter 

By Patricia Hampl

 

Hampl (A Romantic Education, Virgin Time) is an accomplished memoirist, as this volume, a reflection on the matter and meaning of parental attachment inspired by a vigil at her mother's deathbed, proves beyond a doubt. Happy families may be all alike, but each deserves a distinction as telling as this book.

 

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."