TBR: Because I Said So

Today’s book is Because I Said So, an anthology of essays about diverse experiences of motherhood edited by Camille Peri and Kate Moses.  Peri and Moses used to edit Salon’s Life section, back when it was called "Mothers Who Think" and some of the essays have appeared on Salon or elsewhere.

The essays are a mixed bag.  I think my favorite is Peri’s "Prayin’ Hard for Better Dayz" about how her son "went ghetto," in part as his way of coping with her cancer.  Ayelet Waldman’s essay about how she loves her husband (and sex with her husband) more than her kids is just as embarassing to read as it was in the New York Times on Valentine’s day.  I’m not sure if I’m relieved or horrified to learn that even Ariel Gore’s teenage daughter thinks that her mom is embarassing; if the original HipMama is un-hip to her kid, I might as well relax and not even bother trying.

But overall, I’m afraid I found the book to be less than the sum of its parts.  I think the upswelling of mommy blogs makes a book like this somewhat besides the point.  It’s no longer a relevation to hear the voices of smart, thoughtful, funny women talking about motherhood.  I read them every day.

3 Responses to “TBR: Because I Said So”

  1. Wayne Says:

    I bought this book for my wife on mother’s day. She liked it OK; I haven’t read it. But I have read that Ayelet Waldman piece (missed her stint on Oprah, though). Besides being embarrassing, it relied on the stereotype of the sexually frigid suburban mother, which annoyed the hell out of every woman I knew who read it. And it was pretty self-righteous, if I recall — an implied rebuke to other women who weren’t as fulfilled and devoted and balanced and exemplary as she.
    My wife really likes her Mommy Track mysteries, though.

  2. Melanie Lynne Hauser Says:

    I’ve found Salon’s parenting essays to be less-than-moving as of late. Rather embarrassing, actually – entitled creative-type parents upset at having to deal with the everyday hard work of raising kids. Whiny, self-indulgent purging. The exception was an essay a couple of weeks ago by Ann Bauer, about her autistic son – that was excellent.
    But overall I’m always a trifle embarrassed and almost ashamed to read Salon’s parenting essays lately. I’m not surprised to hear the book is a disappointment.

  3. DaNae Hardee Says:

    Are You crazy???? These are some of the best short stories I have ever read. Those of you who were embarrased or upset to hear “HOUSE WIVES RANT” have nannies and sleep with thier gardener. I have a masters degree in English Literature and I have never laughed and cried so hard at the same time in all my life. The honesty and the “matter of fact” stories moved me to tears and made me smile. Thank God there are others out there that are or have gone through what I do on a daily basis. If you have boys, you have to read ‘Boys, Give me Boys’ by Jennifer Allen. One of the best short stories I have ever read and it spoke volums to me and all my friends who are raising boys.

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