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Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers Paperback – May 1, 2001
"1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12"
Parenting tools to use in virtually every situation, from internationally renowned clinical psychologist Thomas Phelan. Learn more.
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This collection of Gen-X essays is especially courageous because of all the taboos it shatters. Writer Julie Jameson confesses that she was talking on the phone with her mom when she looked up and discovered that her teething son had found her newly purchased vibrator and was gnawing on the tip. Gayle Brandeis boasts about the heroic treks she's taken through the hidden folds of her children's bottoms, searching for pinworms like a cave explorer. Sara Manns writes about the desire to have a child with her lesbian wife, which leads her through the terrain of sperm donors, then miscarriage, and finally international adoption. And we can all be grateful to Peri Escarda for helping us find the "Perfect Name" to offer a daughter when she points between her legs and asks, "What's dat?"
Not all the stories are masterfully rendered. Some rely on raw urgency, such as Alex McCall's "Bomb Threat," in which she anxiously retrieves her daughter from a federal-building childcare facility on the same day as the Oklahoma City bombing. Yet many offer mature crafting as well as tender narration. When Min Jin Lee became pregnant, she thought about her own Korean immigrant upbringing and her downtrodden mother's enormous sacrifices. She writes, "These were my fears: One day my child would feel the need to make my life whole through her accomplishments, or worse, as an adult, she would be unable to ever remember me smiling at her as a little girl." Jessica Rigney writes a chillingly exquisite story about altering her family's legacy of suicide and silence through the conscious mothering of her son. These are the rough-and-ready voices of the next wave of motherhood, and like the generation of feminists before them, they continue to break new, fertile ground. One can hardly wait to hear the voices of their daughters. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
That's why a book like Breeder is so important. It's a collection of essays by a collection of young mothers (and one dad) who have a lot of truth to tell. It covers everything from the ambivalence a newly pregnant woman deals with (""Will" by Min Jin Lee) to the penetrating love and connection a teen mother feels even before her child is born ("When I Was Garbage" by Allison Crews). There is the story of the mother who sat vigil over her baby in the neonatal unit at a New York City hospital ("Neonatal Sweet Potato" by Ayun Halliday) and the story of a mother who discovered the ferocity and power of giving birth in her own home ("Birth" by Angela Morill). There are some very funny stories: "Pinworm Patrol" by Gayle Brandeis covers one of the dirtier, more necessary chores of motherhood, and should be required reading for anyone with romantic visions of sleeping cherub children with flushed cheeks and golden curls, and "Baby Vibe" by Julie Jamison is a hilarious story of the way a mother's sexuality can be compromised by the innocent things her child may do.Read more ›
I'd expected friends who are more conservative than I am to find little to relate to, but one of my most conventional friends (who recently suffered a miscarriage) was moved to tears by an account of a similar story in Breeder. After hearing how much this story moved my friend, I changed my mind and sent the book to my mother, who I'd initially thought would be too distracted by the specific situations and attitudes of the authors to enjoy the book. No word back from my mother yet!
I think the moral is that there's something for everyone in this very well-written book. I applaud the editors for compiling stories to encourage mothers to give themselves a break, and for providing a much more diverse set of parent role models than mainstream publications do.
There are so many things about parenting that don't change, generation to generation. But Breeder is full of experiences I could relate to, and it was written in my native language! What's not to love? When is the next one coming out, Ms. Gore?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although the copyright date of this book is 2001, its ethos seems only to have grown in the years since then. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Anonymous
As a professional women, I think women should do whatever makes them happy as long as they can afford to financially support their choice. Read morePublished on August 23, 2007 by T. Nickey
I can't get over the guilt or whining of some of the soccer moms. The majority of the parenting books cater to YOU! Read morePublished on November 20, 2003
I can't say that some of the essays weren't well-written, because they were. My problem was the content. I'm not Mrs. Read morePublished on November 14, 2003 by J. Marchese
I would give this zero stars given the chance. First, the title is very misleading. These are not essays by "the new generation of mothers," but rather teen, welfare... Read morePublished on July 10, 2002
I truly enjoyed this book and have passed it on to friends. It is a great read whether you have kids or not.Published on July 1, 2002
From reading the pages of this book that are posted here, all I can do is say "groan." I am a "gen-x-er" and am so tired of the self-indulgent, me-focus of... Read morePublished on December 30, 2001
This collection of essays by "the new generation of mothers" is an interesting and inspiring read. Read morePublished on December 18, 2001 by Molly M. Wolf
I had difficulty getting through the self-conscious, affected and clumsy Vassar-dropout-style prose. I thought the book was poorly edited, and the politics stank. Read morePublished on November 20, 2001 by 2mille