Single Mother's Companion (Trade)

Marsha R. Leslie, Editor
Marsha R. Leslie, Editor Avalon Publishing Group $12.95 (268p) ISBN 978-1-878067-56-2
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This collection movingly portrays the experiences of single mothers, black, white and Asian; affluent and poor (more often the latter); heterosexual and lesbian. In essays and some stories, women detail the self-doubt, guilt, fatigue, societal censure-and boundless joy and satisfaction-that go hand-in-hand with raising children alone. In Carol Weir's short story, ``Loosestrife,'' a broke, bewildered young mother learns at a court hearing that her husband, who left ``to find work,'' is living with his new boss's daughter. Anne Lamott and Beverly Donofrio describe how their sons are thriving despite the lack of a ``father figure.'' Wendy Dutton offers relief to mothers who yell at their children, observing, in ``Life as a Writing Mom,'' that ``kids yell all day long. That's why they are the most emotionally happy beings on earth.'' Sociologist Valerie Polakow's profiles of four women in ``Contingent Lives'' show how the welfare system is a self-perpetuating trap rather than a free ride. In ``The Silent Constituency,'' a stirring call to arms, Senator Carol Moseley Braun points out that women's issues ``are crucial to the security and survival of our country'' and exhorts women to use the vote in order make democracy work for them. An associate producer for public television and a single mother herself, Leslie has pulled together a rich anthology that offers much wisdom, solace, humor and inspiration. (Nov.)
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