"What I want to say to you is that sometimes life catches you by surprise and you feel unequipped to handle what it brings you, but every bit of life you've lived before that moment equips you to live through it. That's what I would give to you." -Fanni Victoria Green-Lemons, in conversation with her daughter, Danyealah Green-Lemons In Mom , Dave Isay-StoryCorps's founder and the editor of the project's bestselling collection, Listening Is an Act of Love -presents a celebration of American mothers. Featuring StoryCorps's most revelatory stories on the subject, Mom looks across a diversity of experience to present an entirely original portrait of motherhood. Through conversations between parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings and friends, the life of the American mother unfolds. In stories that take us from the woods of New Hampshire to urban Detroit and beyond, we meet mothers and children from all walks of life-an immigrant mother instilling in her children the importance of education, adult children caring for an elderly parent, a woman remembering the sound of her mother's laugh, and mothers and children of all ages learning to grow into new roles over time. Visiting families in moments of profound joy and sadness, courage and despair, struggle and triumph, we learn new truths about that most primal and sacred of bonds-the relationship between mother and child. With this vital contribution to the American storybook, StoryCorps has created a tribute to mothers that honors the wealth of our national experience. An appreciation of the wisdom and generosity passed between mothers and children, this generation to the next, Mom offers powerful lessons in the meaning of family and the expansiveness of the human heart. Watch a Video
For the past seven years, the oral-history project called StoryCorps has collected audio recordings of the life stories of Americans in all 50 states and preserved them for future generations in the Library of Congress. This latest collection is a thematic sampling of interviews between brothers and sisters, mothers and children, friends and relatives that celebrate the unique mother-child bond. Siblings reminisce about their recently deceased mother's sense of humor; an immigrant recalls sadly how his mother had to leave her children with extended family until she had enough money saved to send for them. A man adopted from an orphanage tracks his mother down after 54 years, finally hearing how she struggled with giving him up; two sisters remember how their mother always found room in a tight budget for a once-a-month popcorn and movie night. Children share memories of mothers in eulogies; a gay man treasures his mother's steadfast expression of unconditional love. This latest compilation of StoryCorps vignettes will resonate with readers from varied backgrounds and different generations, spurring their own, perhaps long buried, memories.--Donovan, Deborah Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review
In time for Mother's Day, Isay brings a satisfying second collection of StoryCorps selections after the bestselling Listening Is an Act of Love. Throughout 30,000 recorded interviews by everyday Americans are numerous memories of parents, and among the many mothers who share their stories in this collection are mothers of every variety-single, working, stay-at-home, with one child or a dozen. A couple describe an unexpected camaraderie between their mothers: one American, the other Ethiopian: "My mom would speak in English, and your mom would speak in Amharic, and then they'd laugh and throw their hands up." A mother of 12 tells her youngest, age 12, about her oldest, a soldier killed in Iraq. Reunited at age 60 with the son she reluctantly gave away, Hilory Boucher tells him what happened as she rode away from a Boston home for unwed mothers: "You were handed off to a social worker at a stop on the Merritt Parkway, with your pink bunny and your layette." Readers will encounter an emotional range from heart-wrenching to inspirational in these compelling maternal accounts. Photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Executive producer of Sound Portraits Productions, an independent production company. He is a regular contributor to All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. Over the past ten years his radio documentary work has won two Peabodies, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards and most recently the MacArthur Prize. He lives in New York City