Room to Grow: Twenty-two Writers Encounter the Pleasures and Paradoxes of Raising Young Children

Overview

In this collection of 22 candid, reflective, and intimate essays, such literary luminaries as Larry Brown, Christopher Buckley, Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, and Noelle Oxenhandler share their personal experiences as parents.
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Overview

In this collection of 22 candid, reflective, and intimate essays, such literary luminaries as Larry Brown, Christopher Buckley, Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, and Noelle Oxenhandler share their personal experiences as parents.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Novelist Kline, coauthor of a book on mothers and daughters and editor of a collection of essays on becoming a mother, asked writers--male and female, black and white, famous and less so--to write about their experiences as parents. The result is a strong collection of heartfelt essays dealing with the joys, frustrations, insecurities, and discoveries of parenthood. We hear from a stay-at-home father, an adoptive mother, a father who wonders what to do with a daughter, and a mother who wonders the same things about sons. We watch a little boy throw his arms around his mother and a teenager reject affection or communication. Tony Eprile writes lyrically about reading to his son, and Kevin Canty finds a new way to spend quality time with children--the carpool. Noelle Oxenhandler discovers that "although in their immense need of attention they devour our time, they also lavish on us...the infinity of the unhurried present moment." Brief biographies of the writers are included. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Nancy Patterson Shires, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A wide variety of writers comment on raising their (mostly) two- to ten-year-old children. Kline has written two novels, Sweet Water (1993) and Desire Lines (1999), and edited the baby prequel to this anthology of writers on child-rearing, Child of Mine (1997). In the lead essay, Susan Fromberg Schaeffer is thrilled that her son looks and acts so much like the grandfather she misses: "The child had somehow retrieved one of the two most important people of my childhood." Genetic replacement is not the issue for a satisfied Annaliese Hood, for whom adoption was a first choice. Some of the essays reflect on a particular trauma, such as Lindsay Fleming's worry that her daughter may "forever be known as the girl who pooped in her pants in the [school] library." Other daughters bring moments of unexpected joy, such as Noelle Oxenhandler's girl, who reminds her mother how many wonderful things she's done for her that day. And just over a third of the parents here are men, such as Jon Katz, who left a corporate job for the more joyous responsibilities of staying home and carpooling a gaggle of kids in the 'burbs. Appropriate for the end of the collection, another dad offers the bittersweet feelings of sending that last child off to college. Larry Brown's piece goes beyond empty nest clichés (like "fledgeling bluebirds") to hit us with the emotional power of details like class rings and gold tassels swinging, and parental feelings more complex than joy. The writing and the experiences are rich enough that one can even recommend the book to nonparent friends.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582380322
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/12/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 197
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.86 (d)

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