In the introduction to her compelling anthology Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family, editor and memoirist Joy Castro claims that “memoir is the genre of our era.” I agree. Through the ubiquity of social media, autobiography appears easy—almost reflexive, like capturing the infamous “selfie.”
Pregnancy and childbirth provide a glimpse of ourselves at our most elemental. There is no room for inauthenticity or the masks of politeness that we wear daily. There is only the experience—a ride that grips, lifts us into a mighty …
I’ll be the first to admit, as a dad myself, I approach all reading and watching on the subject of fatherhood with some trepidation. We occupy a moment in the American zeitgeist when the examination of dads sets a pretty low conversational bar.
Tanya Ward Goodman, in her wonderful memoir Leaving Tinkertown, gives readers a well-crafted, compelling, and, above all, urgent narrative about losing a parent to Alzheimer’s. Goodman details the life and health decline of her father, Ross, who traveled the country painting carnival rides before settling in New Mexico and opening his own roadside attraction, which he christened “Tinkertown”: a museum of what some might call cowboy kitsch. A lover of circuses, carnivals, and tourist stop-offs such as Wall Drug, Ross was (and still is for Goodman) a larger-than-life figure.
In 2006, Andrea O’Reilly founded Demeter Press, the first press devoted to scholarly and literary works on mothering and motherhood. Since that time, Demeter has published an extraordinary diversity of titles: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, and academic studies on topics that include incarcerated mothers, feminist economics, gender fluid parenting practices, indigenous motherhood and many, many more.