My Father Married Your Mother: Dispatches from the Blended Family

Overview

"[Includes] a take on just about every version of a newly extended family....Stellar."—Boston Globe
Eye-opening essays by esteemed writers about the rich and complicated lives of American stepfamilies: with the U.S. divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, most people recognize remarriage as a now-familiar occurrence. And remarriage often means stepfathers, -mothers, -brothers, and -sisters, and the formation of a new type of blended family. Jacquelyn Mitchard, Barbara Kingsolver, Roxana Robinson, Susan Cheever, ...

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Overview

"[Includes] a take on just about every version of a newly extended family....Stellar."—Boston Globe
Eye-opening essays by esteemed writers about the rich and complicated lives of American stepfamilies: with the U.S. divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, most people recognize remarriage as a now-familiar occurrence. And remarriage often means stepfathers, -mothers, -brothers, and -sisters, and the formation of a new type of blended family. Jacquelyn Mitchard, Barbara Kingsolver, Roxana Robinson, Susan Cheever, and others share experiences of being stepdaughters, stepmothers, or ex-wives. Andrew Solomon writes about his relationship with his stepmother. Kate Christensen celebrates the stepfather who brought guidance to her life. There are essays from writers in the same family, each with a different take on his or her postnuclear situation: Phyllis Rose discusses her second husband's qualities as a stepfather, while her son, Ted Rose, writes about his tumultuous relationship with his stepbrother from his own father's remarriage. These poignant, heartfelt, sometimes biting tales remind us of the outdated myth of the perfect nuclear family while shedding light on what it means to forge relationships with stepfamily members.

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Editorial Reviews

Elle
“Eloquent, often deeply moving testimonials to the trials and rewards, the unanticipated emotions and unexpected self-discoveries that may await steppeople....An unmistakable, unapologetic warts-and-all rebuke to the lecturing legions of busybody marriage fetishists and anti-divorce activists: Step happens.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393329834
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/14/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Burt's writing has appeared in publications including Salon and Parenting. She was awarded Meridian Literary Magazine's 2002 Editors Prize in fiction. She lives with her husband, daughter, and stepdaughter in Montclair, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents


Introduction   Anne Burt     13
My Father's New Muse   Dana Kinstler     27
Le Beau-Pere   Phyllis Rose     34
Losing Janey   Jacquelyn Mitchard     41
On Having a Stepmother Who Loves Opera   Andrew Solomon     50
My Father's Chinese Wives   Sandra Tsing Loh     61
Infinite Family   Lisa Shea     74
My Mother's Women   David Goodwillie     81
A Package Deal   Kate Christensen     98
Wicked   Roxana Robinson     118
My Papa Married Your Mama   Ted Rose     127
My Wedding Presents   Stephanie Stokes Oliver     134
A Good Man Is Hard to Find   Sasha Troyan     143
On the Uses of Animals   Sheila Kohler     150
My Room   Alice Elliott Dark     155
A Trickle of Talk   Linda Phillips Ashour     164
Stepmother   Susan Cheever     174
Advice to New Stepmothers: On Undertaking the Stepfamily Vacation   Lucia Nevai     180
Infidelities   Elizabeth Powell     189
Dogs and Daughter   D. S. Sulaitis     196
Broken   S. Kirk Walsh     207
Diana's Child   Maura Rhodes     218
My Fairy Stepmother   Leslie Morgan Steiner     227
Step Shock   Candy J. Cooper     234
Learning to Pray   Mike Dolan     245
The Mrs. Davises   Susan Davis     256
Stone Soup   Barbara Kingsolver     265
Contributor Biographies     277
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