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“The social worker says we can’t save his life,” Carol finally continued. She didn’t look at me, but concentrated on pouring us both another cup of coffee. “‘Don’t even try,’ she told me. ‘His heart will fail again.’ And she said, ‘Let it.’ He’s come here to die.”
Kissing the Dark Balloon by B.L. PIke
“Shh…” you murmur. Now that you are a mother, you know about murmuring. You lift your shirt, ease stretchy lace from your left breast. “Mmm…come here, sweetie.” The baby latches, an open-mouth kiss, a perfect seal. Her suck rhythmic, insistent: she is all appetite.
Crossing the Milky Way by Anndee Hochman
They sit facing each other in the whispering shade of a tropical bush, lighted from below, leaves making shadow puppets on the trunks of the palm trees. They turn their heads to watch their daughter race through the grass, arms uplifted to the darkening sky. Her fingers grasp for water jetting out of the sprinkler, the beads making silver net above her head. Her squeals of happiness are so high pitched, one imagines dogs pricking up their ears and growling low in their throats, as if to acknowledge one of their own, something wild and untamed echoing in the dusk. Their only son mopes at the table, deprived of another dessert from the avalanche of food at the buffet. His sigh is as big as the Mediterranean Sea, which lies flat and impotent just beyond the volcanic stonewall.
The New Country by Susan Cattaneo
Eighteenth century Japanese poet, Kobayashi Issa wrote, “What a strange thing! To be alive, under cherry blossoms.” I felt the strangeness of things this month, too, when I put out a call for books in translation and received suggestions all translated from Japanese even as I was reading a Haruki Murakami book myself.
Essential Reading: Translation by Rhena Tatisunthorn
Baby’s still sick.
Baby makes a wheeze
like he’s clearing his throat–
ahem–I am here–
I can’t breathe. …
Approaching Monday by Kelly Sundberg
Zoe FitzGerald Carter’s memoir, Imperfect Endings: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Loss, and Letting Go, received national media attention when it was published in 2010. Library Journal noted in a starred review: “First-time memoirist Carter comes close to perfection in this chronicle of her mother’s quest to orchestrate her own assisted suicide.” In a discussion with Lisa Lynne Lewis, Carter reflects back on the process of shaping her experience with her mother’s death into memoir and also shares some of her current writing projects.
An Interview with Zoe FitzGerald Carter by Lisa Lynne Lewis
These two articulate, fixated mother-writers show readers that now is the perfect time for all mamas to remain proudly and unapologetically obsessive — not in our answers, because those will vary, but in our questions. Anna Campbell and Kenna Lee ask us to think deeply about the world we bestow upon our children and generations to come.
Do the Right Thing, Baby by Katherine Barrett
The Edge of Maybe’s characters aren’t perfect, and their struggle with “first world” problems might not garner sympathy from all readers. But Lutz nails what it’s like to be kissed in the dark by a boy when you’re scared and titillated and thirteen. She delivers a marriage that left me rooting for it, regardless of its warts. She credibly lays out the all too human struggles with truth, betrayal and acceptance. And she reminds us that strangers and journeys are what make our stories worth telling.
Tidy Shows of Denial by Suzanne LaFetra