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Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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"Presents motherhood in all its multitudinous iterations..." —Elle
"Touching and humorous anthology."—Family Circle
“Brimming with essays from quick-witted, unique writers—ranging from new voices to established ones like Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Weiner—this book covers all parenting territory. Part of it is funny and a lot of it is tear-jerking… You may find yourself staying up way past your bedtime because this one is so hard to put down.” —Parents magazine
"Lively personal stories."—Cosmopolitan
“Writers reflect on wisdom gleaned from the women who raised them, motherhood and more in this charming, often funny essay collection.”—Good Housekeeping
“This frank, funny, and touching anthology…discusses the complex and diverse array of parenting experiences, from step-motherhood to infertility, and everything in between.”—Real Simple
"[Listen To Your Mother] proves absolutely that there is no exclusive definition of ‘mother’…[and] is nearly guaranteed to shake up your preconceptions of motherhood…There’s a mother for everyone in this array.”—BookReporter
“A collection of hilarious, sometimes-raunchy, and always thought-provoking stories about personal experiences with race, gender, and motherhood.”—PopSugar
“A fascinating glimpse into what motherhood means today for families with vastly different backgrounds and experiences.”—American Way
“This collection serves as a significant contribution to literature on and about motherhood because it breaks down the isolation that so often surrounds the topic…. These candid writings feel like a dinner date with a group of smart mothers who share their successes and failures with wit, fear, melancholy, playfulness, and all of the emotions that surround the reality of parenting.” —Library Journal
“The stories in the collection run the gamut, and the result is varied enough to ensure that readers who don’t identify with one take will easily find resonance in another. Some will leave readers laughing out loud, while others will leave them crying. All of this collection’s stories, however, have one thing in common: readers will be left planning to call their mothers.” —Publishers Weekly
“A collection of personal essays about the importance of connecting mothers to each other for support…. The essays are short, which enables the book to cover a lot of ground, but they also pack a strong emotional punch—and they're almost certain to leave any mother feeling less alone.” —Kirkus Reviews
“With their authentic glimpses into this hard, beautiful thing we call life, the essays between these covers led me to fresh perspectives on mothering and being mothered. I savored the open vulnerability that met me with each turn of the page. From the hilarious to the profound, and not bound by gender or geography, these stories generously plumbed the depths of all that is motherhood.” —Anna Whiston Donaldson, New York Times-bestselling author of Rare Bird
“I’ve been a longtime fan of Ann’s Listen to Your Mother movement, and I just adore this collection. The stories are diverse, yet bound together by Listen to Your Mother’s trademark rawness and honesty. A perfect gift for any woman in your life . . . or yourself!” —Jill Smokler, New York Times-bestselling author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy
“Listen to Your Mother manages to do what few anthologies do: it makes us see ourselves clearly through the eyes of many different writers—all gifted and many wickedly funny. These writers voice the things that everyone thinks and no one says. Long live the mothers!” —Suzanne Finnamore, award-winning author of Split
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Top Customer Reviews
And this is serious motherhood here. Sure, there are a few lighthearted, aiming-to-be-funny essays, but these were actually the weakest of the bunch--and my least favorite. No, most of these stories are written from a place of honest-to-God struggle and pain, with a genuine longing to understand and improve and cope and love.
Some of my favorites:
A Year by the Lake by Jenny Fiore: "More than halfway into the deployment, Elizabeth and I are at a local gym for toddler playtime. She hates leaving, and I know it will end in a theatrical mess, but I go anyway. See, more than she does, I need the gym, the zoo, the petting farm. I need the pet store, the playground, the pool. I need these in order to keep my child happy enough, occupied enough to not break me."
Mo' Betta Mama by Tasneem Grace Tewogbola: "Accept all situations, she said. Recognize the struggle. Slide into the valley, if you must. Moan, stew, thrash, rage, if you need. But, soon, summon the Most High, the Creator, the One, Big Mama."
Mother: A Multiplication Lesson by Dana Maya: "Because mothering is a difficult math problem, though, there is not only more in the sum, but also less. So many parts of our lives: gone. We lose what we need (sleep), what we crave (choice, solitude). We lose relationships and vanities, routines, and sanity.Read more ›
If you are not familiar with Ann Imig, the book's author and founder of the LTYM movement, you may find the subtitle a bit misleading.
This is not a book that takes a light, humorous look at "motherisms" from another era, say the 1950s, and compares them to how mothering has changed in the 21st century. Instead, it is a compilation of short stories - most pretty serious in their subject matter - by and about the challenges of both traditional and non-traditional motherhood.
Some are humorous, some are heartbreaking but they are all well-written and each chapter is a quick and easy read.
Another reviewer noted the lack of a common thread between the stories or their authors.
But it is Imig's intent to highlight the diversity of authors and subjects in Listen to Your Mother.
For anyone not familiar with Imig and the LTYM movement, be sure to understand what this book is about since the title and cover art don't really convey the weighty nature of the contents.
Imig’s anthology is nearly guaranteed to shake up your preconceptions of motherhood. What about, for example, the two men who want to raise a child? They get an offer for an egg --- from the sister of one of them. Will she be a mother? An aunt? Both? Neither? Will she have parental rights? Is she nuts to make the offer? And though she could claim biological motherhood, won’t they, too, fulfill a motherly role?
As both men work through these questions, we learn from Jerry Mahoney (“More than an Aunt, Less than a Mom”) that parenting can have a lot of “gray areas.” In “Three Little Letters” we explore another “gray area”: the father who is a real mother to his daughter, not because he is at all feminine --- far from it --- but because, by adding three letters to the parental honorarium, you get “mothering,” something that he handles surprisingly well. “The Upside to Down” by Mery Smith offers a glimpse into the experience of a mother coming to accept a certain fact about her new baby: “the fold over his cute little ears, the one crease in the palm of his right hand, the speaking in his heart. It looked and sounded like Down syndrome.”
One of the more painful recollections comes from Yoon Park, in “A Much-Needed Slap in the Face.Read more ›
Mothers of all kinds learn to love a child, raise a child, and then learn to say good-bye. Even as an adult, though, that child is still the mother's child, until that mother becomes an old mother and needs mothering herself. These stories take one concept and write about that love, loss or grief. Not all the stories have an emotional impact. Some are rather so-so.
The individual writers are briefly profiled at the end of the book. Some are blog writers, some are stay-at-home moms, some are playwrights, writers, comedians.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an amazing book. Each Story was different and kept your interest...Lots of emotions, laughter, tears.... Read morePublished 3 months ago by penney
I love this book. Brought back memories from my mom, grandmom and aunts. Easy read when my mind is cluttered from a hectic day and it brought me lots of smiles.Published 3 months ago by Janet Smith
Odd editing. Most of the essays were touching and funny, but they seemed to end abruptly. Some of them were so compelling yet so abbreviated that I looked up the original essays... Read morePublished 4 months ago by SJS
As a cast member of Listen to Your Mother I cannot say enough good things about this book. It was wonderful and thoughtful. It's both funny and sad.Published 7 months ago by Katy Cutlip
Some of these stories made me laugh out loud, and some made me cry. And that's really the best you can ask from a book of short stories. Imig did an excellent job editing. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Delta Stet
What a beautiful anthology that any mother would love. It had me laughing, crying and sometimes even that laughter until you cry. Read morePublished 9 months ago by lovelyn palm
The women in my family read this for or book club around Mother's Day. The stories are inspirational, heartbreaking, funny. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Beverly
What Ann Imig has done here is something spectacular. She has curated a book of (mostly) women's voices that will make you laugh, then make you cry before making you giggle through... Read morePublished 10 months ago by BF/ SS
It was worth the reading but not as good as I thought it would be.Published 11 months ago by Pat Wood