God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother
by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Product rating: 4.4 with 5 reviews
A searching, eloquent memoir about the joys and hardships of open adoption
God and Jetfire is a mother’s account of her decision to surrender her son in an open adoption and of their relationship over the twelve years that follow. Facing an unplanned pregnancy at twenty-two, Amy Seek and her ex-boyfriend begin an exhaustive search for a family to raise their child. They sift through hundreds of “Dear Birth Mother” letters, craft an extensive questionnaire, and interview numerous potential couples. Despite the immutability of the surrender, it does little to diminish Seek’s newfound feelings of motherhood. Once an ambitious architecture student, she struggles to reconcile her sadness with the hope that she’s done the best for her son, a struggle complicated by her continued, active presence in his life.
For decades, closed adoptions were commonplace. Now, new laws are guaranteeing adoptees’ access to birth records, and open adoption is on the rise. God and Jetfire is the rare memoir that explores the intricate dynamics and exceptional commitment of an open-adoption relationship from the perspective of a birth mother searching for her place within it.
Written with literary poise and distinction, God and Jetfire is a story of a life divided between grief and gratitude, regret and joy. It is an elegy for a lost motherhood, a celebration of a family gained, and an apology to a beloved son.
Posted in Authors Tagged with: Birth, Confessions, Farrar, Jetfire, Mother, Straus and Giroux
Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir
by: Tin House Books
Product rating: 4.7 with 13 reviews
In exploring her husband’s traumatic brain injury and loss of memory, Sonya Lea has written a memoir that is both a powerful look at perseverance in the face of trauma and a surprising exploration into what lies beyond our fragile identities.
In the twenty-third year of their marriage, Sonya Lea’s husband, Richard, went in for surgery to treat a rare appendix cancer. When he came out, he had no recollection of their life together: how they met, their wedding day, the births of their two children. All of it was gone, along with the rockier parts of their past―her drinking, his anger. Richard could now hardly speak, emote, or create memories from moment to moment. Who he’d been no longer was.
Wondering Who You Are braids the story of Sonya and Richard’s relationship, those memories that he could no longer conjure, together with his fateful days in the hospital―the internal bleeding, the near-death experience, and eventual traumatic brain injury. It follows the couple through his recovery as they struggle with his treatment, and through a marriage no longer grounded on decades of shared experience. As they build a fresh life together, as Richard develops a new personality, Sonya is forced to question her own assumptions, beliefs, and desires, her place in the marriage and her way of being in the world. With radical candor and honesty, Sonya Lea has written a memoir that is both a powerful look at perseverance in the face of trauma and a surprising exploration into what lies beyond our fragile identities.
Posted in Authors Tagged with: Memoir, Tin House Books, Wondering
Women and C.S. Lewis
by: Lion Hudson
Product rating: 4.0 with 2 reviews
A collection of interviews and essays from a group of distinguished scholars and bloggers writing on the theme of Lewis and women, in his life and writings
Sexism in Narnia? Or Screwtape? Or among the Inklings? Critics have labelled C.S. Lewis a sexist, even a misogynist. Did the life and writing of the hugely popular British author and professor betray attitudes that today are unacceptable, even deplorable?
The younger Lewis was criticized for a mysterious living arrangement with a woman, but his later marriage to an American poet, Joy Davidman, became a celebrated love story. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien formed a legendary literary group, the Inklings – but without women.
Women and C.S. Lewis features academics and writers who come together to investigate the accusations: Alister McGrath, Randy Alcorn, Monika Hilder, Holly Ordway, Don W. King, Kathy Keller, Colin Duriez, Crystal Hurd, Jeanette Sears, David C. Downing, Michael Ward, Devin Brown, Malcolm Guite, Joy Jordan-Lake, Steven Elmore, Andrew Lazo, Mary Poplin, Christin Ditchfield, Lyle W. Dorsett, Paul McCusker, Crystal Downing, Kasey Macsenti, Brett McCracken, John Stonestreet, Kelly Belmonte, Brad Davis. Women and C.S. Lewis provides broad and satisfying answers. Editors are Carolyn Curtis, veteran journalist and book author; Mary Pomroy Key, Director, C.S. Lewis Study Center, Northfield, Massachusetts.
Posted in Authors Tagged with: C.S., Lewis, Lion Hudson, Women
Maeve’s Times: In Her Own Words
Product rating: 4.2 with 98 reviews
Before she was a bestselling novelist, Maeve Binchy started out as a columnist for The Irish Times
. Her articles—focused on the famous and the obscure alike—were filled with the warmth, wit, and keen human interest that readers would come to love in her fiction.
From royal weddings to boring airplane companions, from Samuel Beckett to Margaret Thatcher, from life as a waitress to “senior moments,” Maeve’s Times
gives us five decades of Binchy’s insight into a changing world—revealing her characteristic directness, laugh-out-loud humor, and unswerving gaze into the true heart of a matter.
Posted in Authors Tagged with: Anchor, Maeve's, Times, Words
Crowded by Beauty: The Life and Zen of Poet Philip Whalen
by: University of California Press
Product rating: 3.7 with 3 reviews
Philip Whalen was an American poet, Zen Buddhist, and key figure in the literary and artistic scene that unfolded in San Francisco in the 1950s and ’60s. When the Beat writers came West, Whalen became a revered, much-loved member of the group. Erudite, shy, and profoundly spiritual, his presence not only moved his immediate circle of Beat cohorts, but his powerful, startling, innovative work would come to impact American poetry to the present day.
Drawing on Whalen’s journals and personal correspondenceparticularly with Ginsberg, Kerouac, Snyder, Kyger, Welch, and McClure David Schneider shows how deeply bonded these intimates were, supporting one another in their art and their spiritual paths. Schneider, himself an ordained priest, provides an insider’s view of Whalen’s struggles and breakthroughs in his thirty years as a Zen monk. When Whalen died in 2002 as the retired Abbot of the Hartford Street Zen Center, his own teacher referred to him as a patriarch of the Western lineage of Buddhism. Crowded by Beauty chronicles the course of Whalen’s life, focusing on his unique, eccentric, humorous, and literary-religious practice.
Posted in Authors Tagged with: Beauty, Crowded, Life, Philip, Poet, University of California Press, Whalen
Green Hills of Africa: The Hemingway Library Edition
Product rating: 3.9 with 89 reviews
The most intimate and elaborately enhanced addition to the Hemingway Library series: Hemingway’s memoir of his safari across the Serengeti—presented with archival material from the Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Library, and with the never-before-published safari journal of Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer.
First published in 1935, Green Hills of Africa
is Ernest Hemingway’s lyrical account of his safari in the great game country of East Africa with his wife Pauline. Hemingway’s fascination with big-game hunting is magnificently captured in this evocative narrative of his trip. In examining the poetic grace of the chase, and the ferocity of the kill, Hemingway looks inward, seeking to explain the lure of the hunt and the primal undercurrent that comes alive on the plains of Africa. Green Hills of Africa
is also an impassioned portrait of the glory of the African landscape, and of the beauty of a wilderness that was, even then, being threatened by the incursions of man. Hemingway’s rich description of the land and his passion for hunting combine to give Green Hills of Africa
the immediacy of a deeply felt individual experience that is the hallmark of the greatest travel writing.
This new Hemingway Library Edition offers a fresh perspective on Hemingway’s classic travelogue with a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, the author’s sole surviving son, who, himself, spent many years as a professional hunter in East Africa; a new introduction by Seán Hemingway, grandson of the author; and published for the first time in its entirety the African journal of Hemingway’s wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, which provides new insight into the experiences that shaped her husband’s craft.
Posted in Authors Tagged with: Africa, Edition, Green, Hemingway, Hills, Library, Scribner