Ayelet Waldman's Bad Mother: Background information when reading Manhood for Amateurs

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Manhood for Amateurs

The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son

by Michael Chabon

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon X
Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2009, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2010, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Julie Wan
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About this Book

Ayelet Waldman's Bad Mother

This article relates to Manhood for Amateurs

Print Review

Several months before the release of Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs, his wife, writer Ayelet Waldman, published a memoir called Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, which offers another look at the Chabon/Waldman family.

The book stems partly from Waldman's controversial essay published in the New York Times' "Modern Love" column, in which she confessed to loving her husband more than her children. In these 18 essays, Waldman fleshes out her relationship with her four children and her husband, writing with raw, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-wrenching candor about the challenges of motherhood in modern times. Included in the book is an essay on her decision to abort a fetus with the chance of a genetic defect.

Unlike fathers, whose - as Chabon puts it - "historic standard is so pitifully low," mothers who balance career, parenting, housekeeping, and marriage have long been plagued with guilt for not being the self-sacrificing, superhuman beings expected of them. Waldman seeks to put mothers at ease by exploring "the perils and joys of trying to be a decent mother in a world intent on making you feel like a bad one."

Filed under Books and Authors

Article by Julie Wan

This "beyond the book article" relates to Manhood for Amateurs. It originally ran in October 2009 and has been updated for the May 2010 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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