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Lia Purpura, Author University of Georgia Press $24.95 (152p) ISBN 978-0-8203-2232-2
Through the eyes of a poet, Purpura explores the challenges of the first year of motherhood in a series of lyrical essays that begin with a positive pregnancy test--""a blue X slowly crosses itself, first one arm then the other, in the small white window."" In the beginning of the book, which won the Associated Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction, she explores her transition into motherhood in detail, like a carefree tourist. ""Reading about the place I am becoming has been something like consulting a travel guide,"" she writes of her pregnancy books. But a few months later, she declares: ""These first weeks with him at home recall my first days in other countries where I've lived--that initial fear of venturing out alone, without a full and fluent language to navigate the way."" Her observations grow more concise after her son is born, reflecting the limited time available to work, the limited energy to focus. ""What would have come next, here in the spiral of thought, in this space, had Joseph not woken and called me away?"" she asks. Throughout, she eloquently captures her emotions and experiences. Of labor, she writes: ""How like an apprentice I felt... I thought I might do well if only I could practice."" When her son was five months old, she describes gazing at him as ""a kind of eating, it is that elementally nourishing."" For mothers, bystanders and armchair dreamers, Purpura offers an insightful itinerary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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