When Michele Filgate, the editor of What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, wrote an essay about her stepfather’s abuse, she revealed the fracture that the abuse caused between her mother and her. The essay went viral and Filgate realized that there was much to be learned about what happens in the intimate bond between mother and child when things go unsaid. Filgate gathered 15 writers to explore the topic. Some of the essays are hilarious; others heartbreaking; but there is such strength and resilience in this collection. I kept recalling Leonard Cohen’s line, “There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.”
*Most Anticipated Reads of 2019 Selection by Publishers Weekly, BuzzFeed, The Rumpus, Lit Hub, and The Week*Fifteen brilliant writers explore how what we don't talk about with our mothers affects us, for better or for worse. In the bestselling tradition of The Bitch in the House, What My Mother and I Don't Talk About is an anthology about the powerful and sometimes painful things that we can't discuss with the person who is supposed to know us and love us the most. In the early 2000s, as an undergraduate, Michele Filgate started writing an essay about being abused by her stepfather. It took many years for her to realize what she was actually trying to write about: the fracture this caused in her relationship with her mother. When her essay, "What My Mother and I Don't Talk About," was published by Longreads in October of 2017, it went on to become one of the most popular Longreads exclusives of the year, and was shared on social media by Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, Lidia Yuknavitch, and many other writers, some of whom had their own individual codes of silence to be broken. The outpouring of responses gave Filgate an idea, and the resulting anthology offers an intimate, therapeutic, and universally resonant look at our relationships with our mothers. As Filgate poignantly writes, "Our mothers are our first homes, and that's why we're always trying to return to them." Contributors: Cathi Hanauer Melissa Febos Alexander Chee Dylan Landis Bernice L. McFadden Julianna Baggott Lynn Steger Strong Kiese Laymon Carmen Maria Machado Andr Aciman Sari Botton Nayomi Munaweera Brandon Taylor Leslie Jamison.