In Praise of Single Paren

Shoshana Alexander, Author
Shoshana Alexander, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $24.95 (404p) ISBN 978-0-395-57436-2
Paperback - 404 pages - 978-0-395-66991-4
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A founding editor of the Utne Reader and a writer, Alexander's relationship with her lover ended while she was pregnant with the now five-year-old Elias. Having had some time to consider her position, she's come up with some wise reflections. Noting that ``our own parents by age fifteen would have been as likely to lose a parent through death as a child today is through divorce,'' she points out that an increasingly fragmented society no longer provides organic supports for single mothers or for the single fathers who now head up 14% of single-parent households. The result of four years' labor, Alexander has drawn on numerous written sources, her own experiences and those of more than 100 interviewees of various circumstances, ages and races who became single parents through death, divorce, abandonment--or insemination. Rather than just framing her interviewees' observations, she weaves them all together in chapters on becoming a single parent, on dealing with its accompanying feelings of guilt and fear, on the often very intense closeness between a single parent and his or her child, and on coping with an old partner and finding a new one. Her voice is thoughtful, loving, wise, useful and one that even the most overwhelmed single parent should try to find time to read. Includes an extensive resource section listing books (for parents and children), support groups, organizations and periodicals. (Mar.)
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