Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Interview with Caitlin Flanagan

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My interview with Caitlin Flanagan and review of her book, To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife, have been posted. If you have any comments, we'd love to read them here.


Jen Lawrence is an MBA and former banker who left the world of finance for the world of sippy cups and goldfish crackers. She writes about her experiences on her blog MUBAR (Mothered Up Beyond All Recognition). She is an Editorial Assistant for Literary Mama’s Reviews section and also contributes to the Literary Mama blog. Her work has appeared in The Philosophical Mother. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two children.


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Great interview!
Great review, Jen, and a fabulous profile. Here's my take on them in my blog: http://midlifemama.blogspot.com/2006/06/required-reading.html
I find Flanagan to be completely baffling. But you picked up on a lot of great points that I missed.
What a terrific review, Jen, and a fascinating profile. Thanks for these! I've quoted you on my blog: http://www.carolineandtony.com/2006/06/15/the-last-best-word-on-caitlin-flanagan/
Savvy marketer, indeed. I really appreciate that you pursued this issue because that is, really, what it comes down to. The book, as you say, is not tremendously controversial. But it *was* advertised as such, and Flanagan herself overtly invited and flirted with that controversy. And it's false 'controversy' like that fosters ill-feeling among women and mothers. I resent Flanagan's disingenuity about that. One more thing (and I may need to post about this): I also resent the continual emphasis on'loss.' What about 'choice'? Obviously, we can't have everything (although as you say, Flanagan has a lot). Choosing to have children limits our choices in other areas. So does staying at home. So does working outside the home. But why characterize it as a loss? Don't we make the choices we do around children, family and work - indeed, anything - because we expected to *gain* from those choices? Women (or men) who *must* work outside the home, especially when they would rather stay at home with their children - that is, people without choices - can talk about loss. Those who can and do make choices should recognize their good fortune and celebrate those choices and what they *gain* from what they've chosen.
A fabulous read, Jen. Thank you.
At the latest Berkeley MotherTalk I admitted to "not hating" Flanagan's book and the I ducked, expecting fur to fly. Rebecca said I'd probably like your essay, and (not suprisingly) I do! But not just because I agree with your conclusion, but also because it's well written. Whew. Glad to know I'm not the only woman who is okay with Flanagan's book.
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