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.

 

July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).