Thursday, May 31, 2012

Away from Home

May was a month of train travel, my new, favorite way to get around; and several trips to Manhattan--one of my favorite cities away from home. It was also my first visit to the Center for Fiction. This is a great space with a great mission--all about fiction, all the time. I joined Caroline Leavitt (Pictures of You) and Leora Skolkin-Smith (Hystera) for a panel we called: Mothers on the Verge--that is, mothers on the verge in our novels.

Leora, Caroline and moi
What does it mean to be a mother on the verge? Mothers who are depressed, overwhelmed, sexually boxed in? Mothers who are caught in the crosscurrents of cultural change perhaps, or misplaced either emotionally, spiritually or geographically? All of these things.  Not the happiest topic but something I believe needs to be talked about much more than it is. It seems to me that mothers endure an extra pressure to fulfill some unrealistic image of perfection, all-encompassing nurturer, and strength-giver to others. Who is supporting mothers? How are we supporting mothers who are struggling and failing?

Emily and Alison

--Loved hearing what the audience had to say about the impact of culture and religion on the role of mothers and how mothers view themselves and are viewed by others.

And appreciated the wine reception that the Center of Fiction folks put together for this event.

Thanks to author, Sara J. Henry, for showing up on this rainy night. Her novel, Learning to Swim, has won multiple awards. Buy it!

Visiting NYC? Look for ongoing events offered at the Center for Fiction.  You can borrow books, and check out the literary magazine, The Literarian.  Here's a link for more info:

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