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Baby Love Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 22, 2007

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, March 22, 2007
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Black, White and Jewish gives voice to the uncertainty of her generation in a powerful new memoir. In journal format, beginning with the day her pregnancy is confirmed and ending as she and her partner bring their son home, Walker tells of her physical and emotional journey toward motherhood, poignantly reflecting on the ambivalence that has delayed her dream of having a child for years. Like many 20- and 30-somethings, she was raised to view partnership and parenthood as the least empowering choices in an infinite array of options. This tension comes to the fore as Walker's mother, Alice Walker, opposes her decision to have a baby and challenges her account of their relationship in Black, White and Jewish. Alice ends their relationship and removes Rebecca from her will, and Rebecca endures a tumultuous pregnancy, estranged from her mother as she prepares to become one herself. Elusive health complications arise, and she hops from doctor to doctor, ever wary of Western medicine. Through a lengthy litany of decisions (midwife versus M.D., stroller versus "travel system"), she Googles her way to information overload. At the end of this nine-month mental tug-of-war, she emerges changed: a meat eater, a committed partner with a renewed faith in intimacy, a new woman plus-one. Walker's story is accessible and richly textured, told with humor, wit and warmth. (Mar.)
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"Thoughtful." -Entertainment Weekly "A powerful new memoir...Accessible and richly textured, told with humor, wit, and warmth." -Publishers Weekly "Moving, wise, and deeply honest, Baby Love has illuminated a crucial question for our times." -Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia "Shares the earthy, spontaneous form of Anne Lamott's child-rearing classic, Operating Instructions." -The New York Times
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (March 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594489432
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,219,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rebecca Walker was chosen as one of Time magazine's fifty future leaders of America, one of the most influential leaders of her generation. She has made a substantial contribution to the global conversation about identity, power, culture, and the evolution of the human family through books, lectures, blogs, social networks, popular magazines, literary and academic journals, radio programs, film and television appearances and content development. She graduated cum laude from Yale in 1992.

She is the author of the memoirs Black, White and Jewish and Baby Love; and editor of the anthologies To Be Real, What Makes a Man, and One Big Happy Family. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, the Washington Post, Bookforum, BOMB, Newsweek, Vibe, Real Simple, Modern Bride, Essence, More and Interview, among many other magazines and literary collections. She has appeared on Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, Oprah, Fresh Air, BET, and dozens of blogs, sites, and other media.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Aragon VINE VOICE on August 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in two sittings and have meant to write the review for several days now. I can't decide if it mostly narcissistice drivel or just occasionally dripping with narcissism. I enjoyed some parts of the book, but my copy is filled with comments penciled in the margins. I'm still processing the book.

I will say that some parts of this book would have made more sense if the reader read her previous book, _Black, White and Jewish_ where she tears into her mother and offers a memoir that will make you vacillate between feeling sorry for her and then wondering how in the hell she could be so damn egocentric.

That said, this book is like the book end to the previous book with the diatribe(s) against her famous mother. She is obviously working through her issues regarding too much freedom that she was given by her parents. What has troubled me between those two particular books (and I have read her other books/anthologies and many of her essays) is the way that she places full blame or most of the blame for her ambivalence and sense of not being loved on her mother.

Is it easier for her to attack her mother or does she just make it easier? I'm not sure what the answer is, but I think that she is overly harsh or perhaps not harsh enough on her dad.

Granted, her mother has said some unbelievably cruel things to her. Her mother was trying to raise her w/ choice, independence, and in the process didn't give her enough attention. And, it appears that RW blames her ambivalence and failed relationships wholeheartedly on her mother. I could have done with less of the Alice Walker blaming and more of her musings.

What really troubled me w/ this book was the poor editing.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on April 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rebecca Walker writes honestly and eloquently of the many feelings and beliefs she has carried over the years about becoming a mother. The subtitle of her book, choosing motherhood after a lifetime of ambivalence, together with her main title, telegraphs the denouement of her story; namely, that her ambivalence takes a decidedly positive turn at some point in her story. Her change of heart is not a simple matter, and she shares the complex and often subtle experiences that ultimately change her.

The book is written as a diary in a style that is informal and pleasantly conversational. The topics are many, such as working versus motherhood, fears of having a baby, indecision (once deciding to have it) as to where to have it (at home or in a hospital), the complexities of relationship, and so many more. None of theses are new issues, to be sure, but each is pondered thoughtfully from differing aspects and the reader is invited to ponder them as well.

I was impressed by Walker's willingness to share her vulnerabilities, to reveal the lessons she has learned over time such as her tendency to "mother" others--to shower others with the emotional support that she craved but had not received as a child. She credits Glen, the man with whom she eventually would have her child, for much of her increased self-understanding, for his help with her moodiness, her depression, her sometimes disabling insecurities. He is consistently present and supportive, though never agreeing simply to please her. His intelligent rebuttals to some of her ideas bring an additional depth and dimension to the story.

Walker makes no secret of her antagonistic relationship with her own mother (author Alice Walker).
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64 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Mother on March 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The narcissim, banality and lack of intelligent thought in this book is simply stunning. I am a new mother, and I cannot fathom how this book would have been useful to me during pregnancy; certainly not in retrospect. Because I also share a lot of Walker's racial/sexual/class/political experience I bought this immediately. I was deeply offended by a lot of her claims about feminism and what she insinuates about lesbian vs. heterosexual parenting, but truly jaw-dropping is her assertion about biological vs. non-biological parenting. She is so unable to get past herself, and so unable to recognize that her first stab at "parenting" was more playing house with an immature rocker and less the stuff of intentional motherhood. Perhaps that is part of what undermines the bond with her son that she then goes on to universalize. The revelations about the breach with her mother are frankly embarassing, and again, feel self-serving--like a desperate stab to hook a readership that she can't otherwise win and hold.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By L. Helw on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I think the author seemed confused rather than ambivalent... the book offers no clear thinking through her own motives for this constant theme through her work: one-sided blaming. The writing is one dimensional and ascribes a lot of dark motives to many, except Rebecca.

Something cutting about her piecemeal narratives, esp her cold claim about the only kind of 'real' experience of being a mother is to give birth. She's a couple years shy of 40 years old and sees her body aging...well. What can be said about that. So much of the material here sounds like a 12 year old rather than a mature woman equal to her years.

For new mothers, I would recommend Ann Lamott's work, all of it. She is a very real mother who writes with deep love about various kinds of ambivilance and certitude regarding her precious son; she a single mother. Lamott has the gift of simple narrative that is literature without grunting with the effort to write litter-a-toor as Rebecca seems to try to do.

The thing is, there's a dearth of writings for new mothers, and mothers to be and adoptive mothers... fanning peacock writing like 'baby love' wont cut it for most.

If 'baby love' were a book by a person named Rebecca Smith, I think few people would look at it. Considering her tiresome writing m.o. of dissing her mother, (which also has this odd gloss to it; it just doesnt ring true... her examples of how badly she's been treated sound like a spoiled child complaining they only got everything except two things they wanted and they are really mad. Truly abused children carry an entirely different timbre) I wonder why she didnt keep her father's name instead.
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