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

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We asked our editors and columnists to look in their book bags and on their night stands to tell us what they're currently reading. We hope our readers find titles to add to their own "Now Reading" lists! And then spread the joy! Download the list here and bring it to your favorite mama-friendly bookstore!

Fiction Co-Editor, Suzanne Kamata, recently finished reading Margot Singer's collection of linked short stories, The Pale of Settlement. She writes, "Not knowing much about modern Israel beyond the headlines, I was deeply interested in these well-wrought tales centering around a woman caught between cultures. This book won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction last year."

Christina Speed, E-Zine Co-Editor, writes, "Searching for inspiration to get to the farmer's market or plant a Victory Garden? A taste of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle will give you a revealing look at the rewards of spending a year living off the land. I cannot help but see the produce section at my supermarket in a whole new light."

Fiction Co-Editor, Kristina Riggle, is reading A Free Life, by Ha Jin. She describes it as "a graceful and poignant story of a family of Chinese immigrants to America negotiating their new home in the years after Tiananmen Square."

Sarah Kilts, Literary Reflections Editorial Assistant, just finished reading Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South by Shirley Abbott. Sarah writes, "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."

Columns Co-editor, C. Delia Scarpitti, writes, "I am completely engrossed in the former Pulitzer 
Prize finalist, The Bright Forever, by Lee Martin. This is a novel 
of the darkness of the human condition cut across the brilliance of 
small town life. The structure, shifts in point-of-view and 
luminous characterization make it a must-read for any writer. The 
harrowing story of what can happen to a beautiful nine-year-old girl 
even in the arms of her "safe" community makes it one no reader will 
quickly forget."

Violeta Garcia-Mendoza’s poetry and fiction have recently appeared in Kestrel, Coal Hill Review, and Cicada. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and two daughters.

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