What My Mother and I Don't Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence

What My Mother and I Don't Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence Review

*Most Anticipated Reads of 2019 Selection by Publishers Weekly, BuzzFeed, The Rumpus, Lit Hub, The Week, and Elle.com*

Fifteen brilliant writers explore what we don’t talk to our mothers about, and how it affects us, for better or for worse.

As an undergraduate, Michele Filgate started writing an essay about being abused by her stepfather. It took her more than a decade to realize what she was actually trying to write: how this affected her relationship with her mother. When it was finally published, the essay went viral, shared on social media by Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, and many others. The outpouring of responses gave Filgate an idea, and the resulting anthology offers a candid look at our relationships with our mothers.

While some of the writers in this book are estranged from their mothers, others are extremely close. Leslie Jamison writes about trying to discover who her seemingly perfect mother was before ever becoming a mom. In Cathi Hanauer’s hilarious piece, she finally gets a chance to have a conversation with her mother that isn’t interrupted by her domineering (but lovable) father. André Aciman writes about what it was like to have a deaf mother. Melissa Febos uses mythology as a lens to look at her close-knit relationship with her psychotherapist mother. And Julianna Baggott talks about having a mom who tells her everything.

As Filgate writes, “Our mothers are our first homes, and that’s why we’re always trying to return to them.” There’s relief in breaking the silence. Acknowledging what we couldn’t say for so long is one way to heal our relationships with others and, perhaps most important, with ourselves.

Contributors include Cathi Hanauer, Melissa Febos, Alexander Chee, Dylan Landis, Bernice L. McFadden, Julianna Baggott, Lynn Steger Strong, Kiese Laymon, Carmen Maria Machado, André Aciman, Sari Botton, Nayomi Munaweera, Brandon Taylor, and Leslie Jamison.

Title:What My Mother and I Don't Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence

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    What My Mother and I Don't Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence Reviews

  • Vivek Tejuja

    Relationships are complex. Most relationships are not easy to navigate around. I think the one we share with our parents is most difficult. I have always had a problem expressing what I feel to my par...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    These essays are varied in style and subject matter, but that is fitting since we all have different relationships with our mothers. I really noticed the recurring theme of setting boundaries as adult...

  • Melissa

    A very solid collection of essays from a diverse selection of writers about the things they don’t talk to their mothers about: family history, abuse, love, protection, secrets, first husbands, expec...

  • BookOfCinz

    Our mothers are our first homes, and that’s why we’re always trying to return to them. To know what it was like to have one place where we belonged. Where we fit. In What My Mother And I Don't T...

  • Jaime

    Every essay in here - and so many great writers! - was thought-provoking and brought something new to the table. I loved how different the essays were and the richness of the collection. ...

  • Hillary

    This collection of essays is human, vulnerable, and at times cathartic. It is uneven at times, but highlights unique literary voices and encourages self reflection and forgiveness.It is not really wha...

  • Bridgit Morgan

    This collection of essays was unfortunately a bit lackluster for me....

  • Jennifer

    Really good essay collection. I'll need to buy it in print at some point. I think listening to this essay collection took away some of my enjoyment, as I was distracted by the reader's voice. The auth...

  • Cassie

    Excellent essay collection featuring great talent. It really made me consider my relationships with my own parents....

  • Shannon Perri

    “There is relief in breaking the silence. This is also how we grow. Acknowledging what we couldn’t say for so long, for whatever reason, is a way to heal our relationships with others and perhaps ...