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Mother Knows: 24 Tales of Motherhood Paperback – April 20, 2004
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2016 Book Awards
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About the Author
Susan Burmeister-Brown and her sister, Linda B. Swanson-Davies, have been editing the national literary quarterly Glimmer Train for more than a decade. They live in Portland, Oregon. Their previous anthology, Mother Knows: 24 Tales of Motherhood, is available from Washington Square Press.
Top Customer Reviews
The opening piece, "What's Left Behind," is a deeply moving (but not sappy) story of a pregnant woman who loses her husband and children in a flash flood. Here are the first two lines: "He sweeps by me. My husband, Dizzy, rushes past me with his arms outstretched like a preacher at altar call."
There's the woman who's trying to take care of her small "determined" son and her equally stubborn father who, after a stroke, can only speak gibberish. The realism of this story is striking: the intertwining of love and dedication with exhaustion and a powerful, though passing, desire to flee from the obligations of family.
A remarkable range of authors and perspectives are included. There are at least five immigrants in this collection-wonderful writers with backgrounds and challenges very different from my own or my children's. (One author was born in China, another in Turkey, one in Puerto Rico, and one in Zimbabwe. I mean, wow.)
For me, the best fiction gives me a larger view of the world and yet reminds me that I am a part of it. And, although it sounds sentimental, these stories reminded me that it is the urge to love and be loved that keeps us moving through this world. This powerful collection of 24 (!) stories-by big names and soon-to-be-big names-has earned a permanent spot in my library.
If I have any quibble with this collection, it is that almost without exception, these stories deal with loss, and including some stories that touch on the more joyous aspects of the mother-child bond would have balanced out this anthology nicely.