Juli Anna Herndon
Katie Manning’s collection of poems, Tasty Other, examines motherhood with a fresh, acerbic eye and an imaginative wit. She eschews sentimentality in order to dissect the daydreams and nightmares of the new mother in fantastical detail.
Dana Fitz Gale weaves together the wounded lives of people who at first glance read like clichés, caricatures of life, eating Fritos in broken down Winnebagos or gossiping in the quilting club. But their hurt fills them out, makes them real and makes one want to gather them up and host a dinner party for the lonely. None of these characters, however, would attend.
While Ignacio is the lucky boy in the title of this novel by Shanthi Sekaran, this story belongs to Soli and Kavya. “This story, this fight for a boy—it wasn’t about the boy. It was about his mothers. It was about a law that grew from the deepest roots of their being.”
The Solace of Stones tells the story of Julie Riddle’s family, as well as her growing realization that something in her past went terribly, terribly wrong. Even though she can’t immediately identify what’s happened, it shapes her life nonetheless.
In Beyond Rainman, Anne K. Ross ably wields the dual perspectives of mother and professional psychologist, showing from multiple perspectives what autism looks and feels like. As a professional, she observes children on the spectrum hovering at the edges of school playgrounds, while at home, her stomach tightens when she senses her son getting stuck and angry.
Whether Leslie Contreras Schwartz is examining the bodily experience of bearing children, the remembered experience of her own childhood, her present relationship to children, or stories and images of children, they’re presented in continuity. Like fire, childhood exists in a state between, an on-going place where experiences merge and are made from what’s being consumed.
We publish reviews that explore literary work—fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry—about any form of motherhood. This includes both newly-released work and older books that we consider to be important to the genre. Read more here.