Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs

Overview

The first collection of literary writing on raising a child with special needs, Love You to Pieces features families coping with autism, deafness, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome and more. Here, poets, memoirists, and fiction writers paint beautiful, wrenchingly honest portraits of caring for their children, laying bare the moments of rage, disappointment, and guilt that can color their relationships. Parent-child communication can be a challenge at the best of times, but in this collection we witness the ...
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Overview

The first collection of literary writing on raising a child with special needs, Love You to Pieces features families coping with autism, deafness, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome and more. Here, poets, memoirists, and fiction writers paint beautiful, wrenchingly honest portraits of caring for their children, laying bare the moments of rage, disappointment, and guilt that can color their relationships. Parent-child communication can be a challenge at the best of times, but in this collection we witness the struggles and triumphs of those who speak their own language-or don't speak at all-and those who love them deeply.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Powerful, unflinching, and beautifully rendered, Love You to Pieces is not just an anthology about raising children with special needs, but true literature. Through a combination of fiction, poetry, and memoir—some by renowned authors, others by emerging writers, every piece saturated with hard-won firsthand insight—the loving parents in these pages speak honestly and artfully about every stage of their experience, from the birth of a child with special needs to the arrival of grandchildren. Readers who also wear these shoes will find deep, moving depictions of a reality they know so well. Those with no knowledge of this world will find a literary experience they'll never forget. —Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey

"Love You To Pieces is a unique reading experience: raw, moving, provocative and compelling. The stories are beautifully told, from many different backgrounds and perspectives, but taken together share a common and ultimately triumphant connecting thread: love conquers all."—Daniel Tammet, author of Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

"Love You to Pieces is groundbreaking. Our public discourse about disability is dominated by the voices of medical professionals and fix your child tomes. These stories elevate the experience of people with disabilities to the level of literature. It is a must buy book for anyone who parents, educates, or supports young people with disabilities.—Jonathan Mooney, author of The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal

Library Journal

Kamata, fiction editor of the online magazine Literary Mama, has compiled a collection of essays and poetry by writers raising children with special needs. Arranged from birth to adulthood, the selections by the likes of Jayne Anne Phillips and Bret Lott document the joys and sorrows of raising children with autism, Down syndrome, Angelman syndrome, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, and Duchenne. This last condition, a hereditary form of muscular dystrophy, is marked by three stages: the onset of disease, the date of confinement to a wheelchair, and the date of death (invariably early). The pain of this knowledge is beautifully conveyed but extremely difficult to read. The authors are brutally honest about their frustration, their sorrow, and their anger, both at the outside world but also sometimes at their own children. As does The Elephant in the Playroom: Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs, this work acts as an eloquent support group for these parents. Highly recommended.
—Elizabeth Safford

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807000304
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 5/14/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Kamata is fiction editor at the online magazine Literary Mama. Her essays, stories, and articles on parenting a disabled child - her daughter is deaf and has cerebral palsy—have appeared or will appear in Utne Reader; Brain, Child; Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined; It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters; and an anthology on new family configurations to be published by Riverhead in 2007. Her anthology The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan was nominated for the Kiriyama Prize. Her work has been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, and her essay "The Sound and the Worry" was given a special mention in the latest Pushcart Prize anthology.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Suzanne Kamata Kamata, Suzanne

Coming to Samsara, memoir Vicki Forman Forman, Vicki 1

Without Strings, fiction Hannah Holborn Holborn, Hannah 9

SMA Baby, poem Ellen Bibler Bibler, Ellen 15

A Homecoming, fiction Marcy Sheiner Sheiner, Marcy 17

"Severe Language Delay": In the Kitchen with My Three-Year-Old, poem Rebecca Balcarcel Balcarcel, Rebecca 26

Magic Affinities, fiction Evelyn Sharenov Sharenov, Evelyn 28

Little Locomotive, poem Gina Forberg Forberg, Gina 49

Normal, memoir Marie Myung-Ok Lee Lee, Marie Myung-Ok 50

Form and Void, poem Barbara Crooker Crooker, Barbara 58

Doing Jigsaw Puzzles, poem Barbara Crooker Crooker, Barbara 60

The Lives of the Saints, fiction Catherine Brady Brady, Catherine 62

Living with Lilia, memoir Suzanne Kamata Kamata, Suzanne 80

Termite's Birthday, 1959, fiction Jayne Anne Phillips Phillips, Jayne Anne 88

Petit Mal, poem Michele Battiste Battiste, Michele 105

Great Expectations, memoir Michael Berube Berube, Michael 107

From Spells and Auguries, poems John Morgan Morgan, John 121

Speaking of Love/Reading My Son, memoir Clare Dunsford Dunsford, Clare 125

Ordinary Time, fiction Carol Zapata-Whelan Zapata-Whelan, Carol 136

Moonrise, memoir Penny Wolfson Wolfson, Penny 150

A Question of Leaves, poem Carol Schmidt Schmidt, Carol 177

From Jewel, fiction Bret Lott Lott, Bret 179

Doctor in the House, memoir Darshan Perusek Perusek, Darshan 189

Victoria's Wedding, poem Margaret Mantle Mantle, Margaret 194

Rachel at Work: Enclosed, a Mother's Report, memoir Jane Bernstein Bernstein, Jane 196

What about Meg?, fiction Curtis Smith Smith, Curtis 217

Joyful Noise, fiction Maggie Kast Kast, Maggie229

The Heart Speaks, memoir Sheila Kohler Kohler, Sheila 238

Contributors' Notes 249

Acknowledgments 254

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