Writing family history is a notoriously fraught enterprise. The reputations of the dead, the memories of the living and the artifacts that threaten both combine to make it a problematic literary task that most writers avoid—or else disguise in fiction.
Kate Braestrup’s memoir is all about bodies: living and dead, lost and found. A chaplain for the Maine Warden Service, Braestrup writes about search-and-rescue missions to find hikers and hunters lost in the forests, mountains and bogs of the state.
Say the words food and culture in the same sentence, and many people think of foods they’ve never eaten, with names they can’t pronounce: foie gras, crème fraîche, pancetta. Now that vegan is chic, mesclun is modish, and organics have their own grocery chain, even more people are convinced that food culture bel
I think of myself as rather ecologically savvy. I buy vegetables from a chemical-free subscription farm during the growing season and use organic lawn fertilizer. My four-year-old has been known to hold up an apple and ask with suspicion, “Was this one grown with chemicals?”
After the November election, stories began circulating about Nancy Pelosi’s “mother of five” voice, the voice she uses to great effect with staff members and colleagues. Forged during the years she spent at home with her five children, Pelosi’s authoritative voice helped make this Californian Speaker of the House and the first woman to be within two rungs of the presidency. I call that progress.
Motherhood memoirs are glutting the market these days. Yet beyond how-to manuals for new dads, glossy gift books for Father’s Day, and the occasional memoir of a son about his father, reflective writing by men about parenting is scarce.