The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop

The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop

by Karen Stabiner


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A heartwarming, wry, and often surprising collection of essays about the next rite of passage for Baby Boomers: what happens when the kids leave home

As the baby boom generation ages — the oldest are now turning sixty — many of them are learning to deal with a whole new way of life, after the last child has finally moved out and they are, once again, alone. It's the same milestone their own parents faced, but as with so many other markers, this generation approaches it in a whole new way.

In this fascinating collection, journalist Karen Stabiner has assembled essays from thirty-one writers about their own experience with the empty nest. Parents whose children left home last week join those with grandchildren to explore how life changes once the offspring leave (unless, of course, they move back in again later). They represent the full range of experience — from traditional nuclear families to single parents to gay parents to grandparents — with humor, grace, and poignancy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401340773
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 05/06/2008
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Karen Stabiner, the author of seven books, is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times Opinion section and many other major publications. Her response to the hype about troubled teenage girls, My Girl: Adventures with a Teen in Training, was a finalist for the 2005 Books for a Better Life award. She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband; their daughter, Sarah, left for college in the fall of 2007.

Table of Contents

Proof of Love   Karen Stabiner     1
Flown Away, Left Behind   Anna Quindlen     13
Regime Change   Charles McGrath     17
Careful What You Wish For   Susan Crandell     23
Always Close   Annette Duffy     32
The Rules of the Road   Vicky Mann     41
The Last Summer   Hilary Mills     51
My Cart   Harvey Molotch     62
Time Traveler   Marian Sandmaier     71
The Science of Ghost Hunting   Fabiola Santiago     81
Who Knows Where the Time Goes   Fran Visco     92
Migrations   Ellen Levine     100
Without a Net   Jon Carroll     105
3GRLMOM   Martha Schuur     112
The Dog Waiting by the Door   Andrea L. Chambers     121
In Twos   Grace Saltzstein     132
A Rotten Enough Parent   Douglas Foster     141
Epiphanies of the Empty Nest   Letty Cottin Pogrebin     150
A Mile Ain't What It Used to Be   Brenda C. Roberts     158
Leaving the Island   Martha Tod Dudman     172
Good-bye to the Sunset Man   Lee Smith     183
The Shuffle   Jan Constantine     195
Legacies   Roger Wilkins     203
Keeping Him Safe   Rochelle Reed     213
The Shoes on the Stairs   Jamie Wolf     220
Afterwards   Roxana Robinson     233
Conversations   Kit Rachlis     244
Trading a Business Suit for Blue Jeans   Glynna Freeman     254
The Godfather   Harry Shearer     262
Juggling Lite   Ellen Goodman     269
The Old Blue House and the New Blue House   Susan Shreve     281
Contributors     291
Acknowledgments     301

What People are Saying About This

Hope Edelman

Honest, insightful collection . . .
author of Motherless Daughters

Arianna Huffington

As the mother of two teenage daughters, including a high school senior, I opened The Empty Nest with trepidation, but finished it filled with gratitude and insight. Karen Stabiner has brought together an amazing collection of parents who share their intimate stories of what it means to have an empty bedroom down the hall, and a child out on her own. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartrending, this book is a valuable road map through one of life's most daunting transitions. (Arianna Huffington, author of On Becoming Fearless)

Jacquelyn Mitchard

The Empty Nest is a deeply affecting banquet of thoughts on the only love that must grow toward separation.
author The Deep End of the Ocean and Still Summer

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