Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
April, 2008

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Gorgeous weather, spring sports, and end-of-the-year school activities find us outside, leaving less time to read, but we hope our readers find something of interest here.

Download the list here and bring it to your favorite mama-friendly bookstore!

Caroline Grant, Senior Editor and Columnist, is absorbed in Zadie Smith's On Beauty, "a novel about a pair of rival professors and their families, about marriage and relationships, and about the tangled intersections of race, class and gender. It's rare to find a novel peopled with so many different kinds of personalities, all of whom I find equally interesting. But it's her writing that really grips me, with sentences that make me pause and reread. Her writing is perfectly controlled, often surprising, always moving."

Suzanne Kamata, Fiction Co-editor, is reading Flying Colors: The Story of a Remarkable Group of Artists and the Transcendent Power of Art by Tim Lefens, which is "a memoir by an abstract artist who taught severely disabled students at the Matheny School to make art in spite of their physical limitations."

On the recommendation of a friend, Violeta Garcia-Mendoza, Literary Reflections Co-editor, just finished reading Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. "In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (the long-awaited follow-up to his much-acclaimed short story collection Drown), Diaz chronicles the history of an immigrant Dominican family, with a particular focus on Oscar, the "lovesick ghetto nerd" son/grandson/brother/friend. It's a sprawling, buzzing book that manages to be incredibly fresh and firmly rooted to a sense of history and place. I couldn't put it down."

A fan of Jan Karon's Mitford series, Kathy Moran, Literary Reflections Co-Editor, has just started Karon's lastest book Home to Holly Springs, "the first book of a new series that centers around Mitford's beloved Timothy Kavanaugh. Through the use of flashback, Karon explores Father Tim's childhood memories as he travels home to discover who sent a cryptic note that simply states: 'Come home.' Karon's style is easy reading, and her ability to create believable, interesting characters makes her an enjoyable author."

Sarah Kilts, Literary Reflections Editorial Assistant, just finished reading Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South by Shirley Abbott. "The book begins with a beautiful thesis: 'We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.' Throughout the book, Abbott combines lyrical memoir and well-researched historical narrative as she explores the connections she shares with her Scotch-Irish ancestors who emigrated to, and flourished in, the backwoods of Arkansas. The result, I must admit, is that many of the myths about the South and southerners, which my own New England Yankee upbringing had instilled so deeply in me, have been forever, and delightfully, debunked."

Kathy Moran, former Literary Reflections Editor, has two grown boys and three granddaughters. A retired secondary language arts teacher and literary magazine adviser, Kathy currently works as a teacher consultant for the Greater Kansas City Writing Project and editor of their newsletter Composing Ourselves. Kathy’s reflections can be found at Marmee’s Corner.

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