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The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood, Illuminated Hardcover – June 16, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Villard (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345507959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345507952
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,298,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
Behold, brave readers! Herein lies the first epic hero’s journey told by a mother—the Hausfrau, whose odyssey is a 24/7 adventure of pandemonium, sleep deprivation, madness, and transcendence. But beware! This journey is not for the faint of heart, as Nicole Chaison (a.k.a. the Hausfrau) boldly demonstrates in this brilliantly witty and vivid graphic memoir. The Hausfrau weaves a tale of sidesplitting trials and addresses age-old questions: Does a good mother have to give up her own dreams? What is a good mother, anyway? And is there a bathing suit that will fit her gargantuan behind?

And so the journey unfolds, illuminating all things mommy, including

• The Laborynth: an intricate maze of hormones, exhaustion, and ego struggles.
• the Björn Conspiracy: Can a mother go to the bathroom with a slumbering newborn tethered to her chest?
• Monsterfrau moments: Hell hath no fury like a sleep- and serotonin-deprived Hausfrau.
• the Unhip Mama: Piercings, spiky hair, and tattoos do not a trendy mama make.
• a Hausfrau Holiday Bake-off: yet another portrait Norman Rockwell forgot to paint.

Fiercely funny, wholly original, and sure to be recognizable to mothers everywhere, The Passion of the Hausfrau is filled with the messiness, meltdowns, mayhem, and bliss of modern motherhood.

Amazon Exclusive Essay: Nicole Chaison on The Passion of the Hausfrau
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

From Publishers Weekly

In a book that bills itself as both illuminated manuscript and hero's journey, we see a writer/mother whose craft has slipped away from her as her two children have taken over her life. The story is written in prose with black and white drawings accompanying the text, and it grew out of Chaison's zine, Hausfrau Muthuh-zine The author tells her tale with high-spirited energy, drawing on multiple sources in order to portray her journey through motherhood and back into writing. This is no dreary maternal tale; it's a journey every bit as adventurous, thrilling and pitfall-laden as any male hero's. Faithful to her influences, Chaison's chapter headings include quotes from Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, while each page of text is bordered by cartoon illustrations with dialogue. This technique is enjoyable but suffers when the illustrations serve not, in fact, to illuminate the text but merely to repeat it. While fitting to the subject of motherhood, this style's run-on sentences, footnotes and constant references to books, films and pop culture icons can weigh down the story, while the constant stream of self-deprecation and cutesy language sometimes undercuts the wonderful foundation of motherhood as hero's journey. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Nicole Chaison's graphic novel, The Passion of the Hausfrau, sprung out of her tri-annually self-published comic book, Hausfrau muthah-zine, which has generated a cult following among the lactating and radically sleep deprived. Men report locking themselves in the bathroom to read it in secret. Chaison co-wrote the James Beard Award-nominated Spice, with chef Ana Sortun, and her stories and comics have appeared in Parent and Family, MotherWords, and the collections Forty Things to Do When You Turn Forty and Creating a Marriage You'll Love. A one-woman show based on her stories--and also called The Passion of the Hausfrau--opened at Portland Stage Company last spring. Chaison lives is Maine with her husband and children.

Customer Reviews

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I saw this book recommended on the Soulemama blog and promptly ordered it.
Melissa M. Mccarthy
The text is cleverly interlaced with beautiful drawings that look straight out of an illuminated manuscript.
J. Hutchins
Spot illustrations tend to flesh out the situations that have been described more thoroughly in the prose.
GraphicNovelReporter.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tsunami Jane on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood, Illuminated

Let me just say this: You don't have to be a parent to love The Passion of the Hausfrau. I am not a mother, but Nicole Chaison's laugh-out-loud graphic memoir speaks to me, too. The book documents Chaison's life as a mother and lapsed writer as she delves into the deepest parts of herself and returns to the world a creator of art as well as children.

I suppose it is true that my pets are my children. Just after I got The Passion of the Hausfrau, a new kitten came into my life. She was perfect in every way; except for the parasites. I plummeted to the depths of despair when the giardia and coccidia found their ways into my other two cats' gastrointestinal systems and I had to capture all three cats twice a day and force two syringes full of nasty medicine down their throats. And then I read the "Pestilence" segment from Chaison's "Road of Trials," in which our heroic Hausfrau faces a parasite of her own: lice. Just reading it made my life better. The next day, carrying my once feral cat by the scruff (so I wouldn't get scratched) into the "treatment room" (the bathroom), I thought, Okay, the Hausfrau has dealt with a pestilence just as terrible, if not more so--and she made it funny.

Kinda put things into perspective.

The book is funny. But it is also brilliant. Chaison has written (and illustrated!) perhaps the first work of literature that puts the experience of motherhood in the framework of the archetypal hero's journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Hutchins on August 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Passion of the Hausfrau takes the graphic novel medium to a new level. The text is cleverly interlaced with beautiful drawings that look straight out of an illuminated manuscript. The stories are hilarious, and by the end of the book, you really do understand that raising two kids (and writing a book about it) is a heroic task. My favorite scene though is the story of the maggots in the child's car seat. Buy it! Read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa M. Mccarthy on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw this book recommended on the Soulemama blog and promptly ordered it. I read it in about two days, which is a real accomplishment with 3 small babes! I can't say enough about this book... I couldn't stop laughing!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle A. Singer on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic. I was already a fan of Chaison's 'zine, so this book serves as a kind of "best of" and a work of its own. I love that it takes the form of the 'hero's journey' and it is a must-read for all my mama friends.
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