Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Politics: The Essential Reading

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No matter what side of the aisle or kitchen table, Americans rocked the vote this week! This month, Literary Mamas share their political must-reads.

Download the list here to cast your vote at your local bookstore or library.

Caroline Grant, Senior Editor and Columnist writes, "I recommend The Maternal Is Political, edited by our own Shari MacDonald Strong. The anthology offers great writing, cover to cover. It's all here--gender politics, sexual politics, school politics, adoption politics, religious politics, body politics, community politics, family politics, social politics--but with a mix of tone and approach that makes the book a real pleasure to read. Rather than weighing you down with the utter importance of it all, these essayists -- who range from politicians (Nancy Pelosi, Benazir Bhutto), activists (Cindy Sheehan, Rebecca Walker), and other terrific writers, including LM columnists (Violeta Garcia-Mendoza, Ona Gritz, and Susan Ito) -- make you want to think critically, get up off the couch, make a phone call, sign a petition. They inspire me to do good in the world, and teach our children how to do good, also. And that part's not so hard, really. These essays remind us that our children are our constant witnesses; we should take subtle advantage of that while they are still at home, and also teach other's children when they're in our company."

Fiction Co-Editor Suzanne Kamata, recommends National Security Mom: Why "Going Soft" Will Make America Strong by Gina M. Bennett. "Bennett, a twenty year veteran of the CIA's counter-terrorism unit and the mother of five, authored the first published paper warning of the danger of Osama Bin-Laden. In this book she writes intelligently and convincingly of how basic parenting principles can be applied to protecting a nation from outside threats, while demystifying the underworld of terrorism.

I also suggest our own Sonya Huber's Opa Nobody, in which Huber attempts to reconcile political activism with parenthood."

Ezine Co-Editor Merle Huerta shares "Nicholas Gage was nine when his mother, Eleni Gatzoyiannis, sent him with three of his four sisters on an escape route out of Greece. The year was 1948, and a Greek Civil War, one between Greek Nationalists and Communist Insurgents, raged. Children were separated from families. Villagers, starved and threatened, were forced to inform against innocent neighbors. And Eleni, seeing no over option for her family's survival chose to send her children ahead to live with their Greek-American father. She promised to follow. It was the last time Gage would see his mother.

Throughout his childhood, Gage recalled feeling haunted by unanswered questions over his mother's final days. He harbored a vendetta to uncover the answers and to seek out those responsible. He became a prominent investigative reporter for The New York Times. And gradually began piecing together the events leading up to Eleni's death, as well as a portrait of the woman he only remembered from a child's perspective. Eleni is a powerful historical memoir--evocative, heart-wrenching, and compelling. Despite being published some twenty-five years ago, Gage's memoir is timeless in the personal lessons it offers, and illustrates mistakes those in power repeat time and time again."

Christina Marie Speed writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including Caper Journal, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune Online, and The View From Here. She lives with her husband and two sons in a sunny fourth-floor walkup in Brooklyn, New York.

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