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Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace

Ayelet Waldman, Author
Ayelet Waldman, Author . Broadway $24.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-52793-4
Paperback - 213 pages - 978-0-7679-3069-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-21651-8
Open Ebook - 121 pages - 978-0-7679-3216-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1002-4
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-1-4447-6315-7
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Having aroused the ire of righteous mothers with her confession to loving her husband more than her children, Waldman (Love and Other Impossible Pursuits ) offers similar boldface opinions in 18 rather defensive essays. The mother of four, living in Berkeley and married for 15 years to an ideal partner who told her on their first date that he wanted to be a stay-at-home husband and father (he also happens to be novelist Michael Chabon), Waldman was a Jewish girl who grew up in 1970s suburban New Jersey, where her mother introduced her to Free to Be You and Me and instilled in her the importance of becoming a working mother. With her supportive husband to manage the domestic drudgery, Waldman did pursue a law career, until she quit to be with her growing family. As a champion of “bad mothering,” that is, dropping the metaphorical ball—making mistakes and forgiving yourself for it—Waldman writes in these well-fashioned essays how a mother's best intentions frequently go awry: she really meant to breastfeed, until one of her children was bottle-fed because of a palate abnormality; she denounced the playing of dodgeball in her children's school, out of her own memories of schoolyard humiliations; and she confesses to aborting a fetus who suffered a genetic defect. Her determinedly frank revelations are chatty and sure to delight the online groups she frequents. (May)

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