Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Playing Literary Catch-Up

I was fortune enough to attend a MotherTalk event over the weekend, which included RebelDad fav Miriam Peskowitz, author of The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars, as well as Andi Buchanan. It was a wonderful event, and given that it was pitched mostly mothering discussion groups, I wasn't too bothered by the absence of fathers there.

It was a little nerve-wracking meeting Andi because I have promised her a couple of book reviews that hadn't been written. Andi has been incredibly busy over the last year, editing three books -- a collection of writings from the Literary Mama website titled (surprise) Literary Mama, as well as It's a Boy and It's a Girl, two collections of essays by women writers about raising children of one sex or the other.

All three are interesting reads. The sheer variety of literary Mama caught my attention, which includes poetry and pieces of varying length and perspective, but it was "It's a Boy" and "It's a Girl," that have stuck with me. The essays are all well-thought out, and they span the experience, from the pre-birth gender expectations to the way children grow up. There is something different about these books as compared with others in the increasingly common "collection of essays by moms" genre, and I think it's a focus on the kids, not the parent. Though there's plenty of wonderful essays on parenting out there, by forcing writers to think about the way they interact with a specific child, you don't get stock pieces on Modern Parenthood and My Experience.

I joked with Andi that she's only told half the story -- what about dads with sons and dads with daughters? Of course, Andi's probably burnt out -- but perhaps there's a loyal reader who is game to tackle that. I'd be first in line to plunk down my $14.95. Any takers?


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