My One and Only: The Special Experience of the Only Child

My One and Only: The Special Experience of the Only Child

by Ellie H. McGrath

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author, a reporter for Time and herself an only child, avers, ``There is no single `authorized' version of what it's like to be an only child, just many interpretations.'' The great majority of the more than 100 only children interviewed here--including Dick Cavett, Betty Rollin, Roger Staubach, Mary Catherine Bateson (Margaret Mead's daughter)--express satisfaction with being either a lone child or the parent of only one child. Probing also for the disadvantages experienced by the interviewees, McGrath speaks not as an advocate, but as a challenger of stereoptical assumptions often made about only children, in the process revealing some of her own perceptions of growing up without a sibling. The book is an insightful and enjoyable illumination of prevailing sociological beliefs on the subject. (July)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Herself an only child, McGrath, a writer for Time, grew up hearing the popular cliches about only children: They are selfish, spoiled, lonely, and socially maladjusted. This book, the result of interviews with over 100 only children (including some well-known, e.g., Ann Beattie, Roger Staubach) of all ages shows how the myths may come true, but are not inescapable. Told in the words of her interviewees, the book reveals that the only child does tend to receive more adult attention, and though this may result in a spoiled person, it may as easily result in one who works hard to be all things to all people. It has been shown that a greater percentage of high-achieving adults were only children. Most of McGrath's subjects grew up contented with their state, and there's no hard evidence that a lack of siblings is harmful. Interesting, and well written.-- Susan B. Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, Ohio

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Edition description:
1st ed

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