When I was young, I wrote. When we were about 6, my friend and I would sit at my blue Smurf picnic table in the family room of my house, armed with crayons. One of us would write the story and the other would illustrate it. When I was in first grade, my class had
Henrick Ibsen A Doll’s House (Et Dukkehjem, written 1879) is better known than Ghosts (Gengangere, written 1881), and in my opinion, the former is also a more polished drama. Yet, when I think of one of these plays by Ibsen, I cannot but think of the other. I don’t remember which I read first, but
Yesterday you were divorced. Today I am a widow. (page 1) So begins So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba (first published 1980, translated from the French by Modupé Bodé-Thomas), the personal (fictional) diary of the Senegalese woman Ramatoulaye, written as an extended letter to her best friend Aissatou, who has long lived in the
The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta (1979) is about Nigerian tradition versus a modern and Western lifestyle, but it’s also about a woman coming to terms with her role as woman and a mother. I found myself viewing the main character, Nnu Ego, with conflicting emotions throughout the novel. From a modern, feminist perspective,
As a mother raising a child in a world of video games and television, electronic gadgets and noise makers, I have often wondered how to encourage my son’s imagination. This seems to be a challenge even now when he’s a toddler, and it may be even more so as he grows. Society’s emphasis on after-school
Shakespeare’s King Lear captures family relationships (father to daughter, father to son, brother to brother, sister to sister) in an undeniable tragedy. Lear is betrayed by his two eldest daughters and Gloucester is betrayed by his eldest (and illegitimate) son. But although there is broken trust and mourning, there are also tender expressions of true
My son is only 26 months old, but he’s beginning to learn at the speed of light (from my perspective). After twenty minutes of a Sesame Street “two” episode, for example, he knows he has two hands, two eyes, two feet, and that there are two apples, two spoons, and two bowls on the table.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a magical friend to children, with her upside-down house and delicious cookies that are always waiting for you. She’s also a wonderful help to parents, who often don’t know how to solve the problems of parenthood. When I was young I loved learning Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s “cures” for naughty children’s problems, such as
In the picture book Love You Forever, Robert Munsch captures every mother’s feelings of unconditional love. I can’t read it without my eyes tearing, and I love the tender expressions of love. But I wonder if children like it.
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