Searching for Mary Poppins: Women Write About the Intense Relationship Between Mothers and Nannies

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Twenty-five bestselling and award-winning female writers explore the emotional minefield of mother-nanny relationships

From coast to coast, articles and commentary on the new nanny culture abound. Nanny novels have captured public imagination to bestselling results, and thousands of “how to hire a nanny” guides are purchased every year. But no book has addressed the unique intimacy and intensity of the nanny-mother relationship through ...

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1594630232 BRAND NEW. We are a tested and proven company with over 900,000 satisfied customers since 1997. Choose expedited shipping (if available) for much faster delivery. ... Delivery confirmation on all US orders. Read more Show Less

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FIRST EDITION: FIRST PRINTING: ***NEW, With Remainder Mark*** Published by Hudson Street Press; Penguin Publishing Group. D/J in Excellent condition. Quarterbound (Off-White ... boards, Black spine, Silver lettering). Binding tight. Flat-signed by Susan Davis (one of the two editors), on Title page. Pages crisp, clean and unmarked. . . Professionally and securely packaged, with Tracking Number. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Twenty-five bestselling and award-winning female writers explore the emotional minefield of mother-nanny relationships

From coast to coast, articles and commentary on the new nanny culture abound. Nanny novels have captured public imagination to bestselling results, and thousands of “how to hire a nanny” guides are purchased every year. But no book has addressed the unique intimacy and intensity of the nanny-mother relationship through narrative with the depth and sensitivity found in Searching for Mary Poppins.

Susan Cheever, Marisa de los Santos, Joyce Maynard, Daphne Merkin, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Roxana Robinson, Rebecca Walker, and Elizabeth Graver, along with seventeen other leading women writers, explore the nanny conundrum, delving into the complex issues that today's mothers experience when they turn the care of their children over to a stranger. Raising questions that reach beyond money, race, class, gender, immigration, and legality into the darkest areas of love and fear that a mother feels, they offer viewpoints both rivetingly disparate and hauntingly familiar.

Providing hope, solace, and welcome perspective on this one-of-a-kind relationship, Searching for Mary Poppins sheds light on why nannies make us think so hard about who we are and what we want. BACKCOVER: “If you are a mother, a father, a child, a nanny, a prospective parent, or merely interested in the fascinating, complicated, intense, and poignant relationship between nannies and parents, you will find this book very hard to put down.”
—Susan Orlean, author, The Orchid Thief

“This marvelous, often moving, collection of essays contains at least two deeply comforting lessons: one: there are no perfect nannies; two: there are no perfect mothers. How miraculous then, that so many of us manage to produce perfect children. And, with insights from this book, they will multiply.”
—Susan Stamberg, Special Correspondent, National Public Radio

“Deeply personal and cumulatively political, these powerful essays are cautionary tales, love letters brimming with gratitude, dark confessions. They are full of true heartache, hard-earned wisdom, and inspiration.”
—Julianna Baggott, co-author, Which Brings Me to You

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Happy families may be all alike, but as it turns out, so are families that hire nannies. In this collection of 24 essays, Davis and Hyams have selected essays that examine the relationship between mothers and their child-care givers. "Employing a nanny is beyond a necessity," they assess. "It becomes a question of identity." The very nature of an anthology writers writing about their lives also leads to this collection's main problem: the vast majority of these mothers are looking for help while they stay at home to write. There are no CEOs who must desperately look for backup care when the nanny is sick, no blue-collar workers who must figure out how to make a living while still paying for child care. Each mother is trying anxiously to please both nanny and child. When the circumstances are exceptional, so are the essays, as Andrea Nakayama's story of the "manny" hired as her husband was dying, and Ann Hood's piece about the nanny who cared for her now-deceased daughter. Daphne Merkin's essay is the strongest, focusing on her own childhood experiences with a nanny. Mothers who hire nannies will certainly appreciate this anthology, but the complete story surely lies somewhere between The Nanny Diaries and this. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This collection of 24 commissioned essays covers the varied experiences these professional writers had with caregivers for their children. Editors Davis (senior producer, North Carolina Public Radio) and travel writer Hyams have done a remarkable job of pulling together writing mothers willing to bare their souls, revealing the joy, guilt, relief, and fear of employing a nanny (the issue of the privileged concept of hiring a nanny is not disregarded). The pieces, roughly divided into four sections, are well written, hauntingly honest, and thought-provoking, progressing from hiring a nanny to negotiating a relationship with this "other mother," dealing with tensions and with the end of the relationship. Woven throughout are universal themes class, work, family, and values but the contributors avoid preachy moralizing or sweeping generalizations. A foreword by Melissa Block (host of All Things Considered on National Public Radio) engages readers from the first page. With more and more families hiring nannies every year, this work will resonate with mothers around the country. Recommended for large public libraries. Erica L. Foley, Flint P.L., MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594630231
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/21/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Davis (right) has worked in public radio for more than a decade and is currently a senior producer at North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Gina Hyams is the author of several books on travel and the arts. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, Salon.com, and San Francisco magazine.

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