What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most

Elizabeth Benedict, Author
Edited by Elizabeth Benedict. Algonquin/Workman, $15.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-61620-135-7
Open Ebook - 305 pages - 978-1-61620-268-2
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In this moving collection edited by novelist Benedict (Almost), 31 notable women, including award-winning poets and novelists, examine their relationships with their mothers. Some celebrate the relationship, as with Cecilia Munoz in “The Wok.” Others seek to understand why their experience was not the stuff of fairy tales, as with Sheila Kohler’s “Love Child.” Others celebrate the quirkiness of their mothers, as with Elinor Lipman’s charming essay, “Julia’s Child,” about her mother’s extreme dislike of condiments. Lisa See writes movingly of following in her mother’s footsteps as a writer in “A Thousand Words a Day and One Charming Note,” while Charlotte Silver revels in her exuberant mother’s ability to use fashion as personal expression in “Her Favorite Neutral.” And sadly, others seek to overcome the pain of loss, as in Judith Hillman Paterson’s “The Gift Twice Given,” Joyce Carol Oates’s “Quilts,” and Karen Karbo’s “White Gloves and Party Manners.” Each essay is beautifully crafted, and editor Benedict provides the perfect balance of emotions. For anyone trying to understand mother-daughter relationships, this collection provides the answer. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman. (Apr.)
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