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 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.