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Know the Mother

Know the Mother While a mother can be defined as a creator a nurturer a protector at the center of each mother is an individual who is attempting to manage her own fears desires and responsibilities in different

  • Title: Know the Mother
  • Author: Desiree Cooper
  • ISBN: 9780814341490
  • Page: 291
  • Format: Paperback
  • While a mother can be defined as a creator, a nurturer, a protector at the center of each mother is an individual who is attempting to manage her own fears, desires, and responsibilities in different and sometimes unexpected ways In Know the Mother, author Desiree Cooper explores the complex archetype of the mother in all of her incarnations In a collage of meditativeWhile a mother can be defined as a creator, a nurturer, a protector at the center of each mother is an individual who is attempting to manage her own fears, desires, and responsibilities in different and sometimes unexpected ways In Know the Mother, author Desiree Cooper explores the complex archetype of the mother in all of her incarnations In a collage of meditative stories, women both black and white find themselves wedged between their own yearnings and their roles as daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and wives.In this heart wrenching collection, Cooper reveals that gender and race are often unanticipated interlopers in family life An anxious mother reflects on her prenatal fantasies of suicide while waiting for her daughter to come home late one night A lawyer miscarries during a conference call and must proceed as though nothing has happened On a rare night out with her husband, a new mother tries convincing herself that everything is still the same A politician s wife s thoughts turn to slavery as she contemplates her own escape Even Harriet Tubman had realized that freedom wasn t worth the price of abandoning her family, so she d come back home She d risked it all for love With her lyrical and carefully crafted prose, Cooper s stories provide truths without sermon and invite empathy without sentimentality Know the Mother explores the intersection of race and gender in vignettes that pull you in and then are gone in an instant Readers of short fiction will appreciate this deeply felt collection.

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      Posted by:Desiree Cooper
      Published :2019-03-19T08:41:36+00:00

    1 thought on “Know the Mother

    1. In a mixture of historical and contemporary settings, these 31 flash-fiction stories explore ambivalence about motherhood, and the ongoing racism in America. The opening story, “Witching Hour,” universalizes insomnia and worry through the first-person plural. The excellent “To the Bone” recalls Toni Morrison with its three generations of black women and references to down-home cooking. The slightly longer stories, buoyed by deeper characterization and multiple scenes, are often more succ [...]

    2. I just finished reading “Know The Mother” yesterday. I am set back on my heels by the sheer beauty and strength of this collection of flash fiction about the interior of mothering, daughtering, being mothered or motherless. Cooper’s poetic stories made me weep. They uncovered places I did not know that I needed healing. Her characters are like sand in my shoes -- both a little uncomfortable and evoking pleasure and warmth. Cooper is a deft writer: she uses sensual language without sentimen [...]

    3. Know The Mother is a collection of ultrashort stories surrounding motherhood. Some of the entries in this well written collection are so short, I'm not sure we can even call them stories. Maybe meditations, observations, reflections on motherhood. That is not to say that brevity automatically renders these tales ineffective, but the shorter the story, the greater the chance they will lack the necessary impact to be dynamic. It is hard to develop a character in 2-3 pages.Thanks to the prose, whic [...]

    4. These flash fiction short stories can be read in a flash. But don’t. Take them slowly and let the characters stay with you awhile.My favorite story: Requiem for a Dress.Thanks to Desiree Cooper for coming to our book group to talk about gender, race, writing and waking up at 3 a.m.

    5. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I wish I could buy this book for every reader I know. It's exquisite and powerful, each short short and flash story portraying a distinct and complex life and world. I made the mistake of thinking I could read it quickly, often finding myself in tears from its beauty, having to take breaks. Flash fiction may be short, but I've learned that when it's done right, the content is ever more potent. Cooper is a master of this form. Her language is filled with sensua [...]

    6. Cooper's skillful at precisely and profoundly showing the living histories that make up the ice-burg below the tips of the small moments her characters are experiencing. A grandmother going through airport security, a mother giving into a spa day gifted from her grown children, a young family being refused proper hotel service, a young girl who feels invisible and her mother who did at the daughter's age, a young teacher telling a joke to her class and the unexpected deep connection with a stude [...]

    7. Emotional RollercosterThis book took me on an emotional rollercoaster through womanhood and motherhood. I enjoyed that each snippet was short but filled with so much joy, pain, love, and care. This book isn't one of my typical reads, but I'm glad that I picked it up. It's a great read for all and easily enjoyable. Warning you may find yourself with watery eyes, that was my experience especially when I read Requiem for a Dress.

    8. Over 30 vignettes, and each of them left me feeling some type of emotion. This collection of stories tackles racism and sexism, through the eyes of a woman, as well as the emotions women and mothers experience as they mother their children, parents, husbands and lovers. Great read!

    9. I didn’t realize how short these short stories would be when I picked up this book. I think there were many stories that had great potential in this book but they never really took me anywhere. The reviews were really good on this book and I was sadly disappointed in what I found.

    10. Some of these stories made me weep. Some of the stories were utterly forgettable. I enjoyed reading this book, and typically try to have a book of short stories going to read when I need a break from other books. Stories here are very short and there are some I will go back to.

    11. really quick, really great flash fictions surrounding the many ideas of the mother. i'm in love with this book.

    12. Strange, minuscule stories that hop into new characters, times, and places as if changing costumes between scenes at a play.

    13. A sometimes frightening collection of short stories revolving around intersections of motherhood, daughterhood, womenhood and race. Short and engaging.

    14. Know the Mother was assigned to me at the beginning of the semester by my creative writing professor, who thought its style would spark ideas for my own collection of flash fiction. Though it’s a quick read, Cooper’s work helped me immensely; it’s insightful, meaningful, and touching through its depiction of maternal relationships. I was captivated by Cooper’s ability to describe entire scenes and flashbacks in so few pages — only a few of the 31 stories exceeded 1,000 words, with many [...]

    15. Just finished the very wonderful, KNOW THE MOTHER by Desiree Cooper. I just heard Desiree read at a Brooklyn literary salon, and her warmth, generosity, humanity, decency and integrity just emanates from this beautifully written book. There are very few books I can say are so beautifully written, but this collection of very short stories has diction which will blow you way over the moon. She understands the demands of being a wife, a mother, a daughter to sick and elderly parents, concerns which [...]

    16. I was not emotionally prepared for this collection of short stories, nor did I anticipate the anger and frustration that would build as I made my way through the book. Each story had a different tone and setting, although the theme was consistent - race and gender separate the mother from her surroundings and fellow human beings. I had to keep my emotions in check, from explosive anger to indignation to shame. On the plus side, the stories are beautifully written - the prose flows like poetry in [...]

    17. This is not a book to read in one sitting -- this is a book to be cherished for a life time. The stories in travel through a woman's life. This is our book -- our rendition of "The Red Tent." These are our stories, a journey of what it is to be a daughter, mother, student, wife, professional. Each story needs to read, then read again, absorbed into our being, then picked- up again to be read. Each story will have a different meaning each time it is read in different phases of our lives. Even the [...]

    18. This is a collection of flash fiction pieces - the longest story is 12 pages, the shortest is one - but each story packs a wallop. Desiree is a skilled writer who's adept at making excellent use of what is left unsaid, allowing her readers to complete the vignette. Each story is like a magic box, holding twists, sharp emotions, longings and uncertainties, fishhooks, briefcases, burros, blood, mothers, fathers, sisters and daughters. KNOW THE MOTHER is a book I keep on my nightstand when I want a [...]

    19. This is a beautiful book of short stories. I love the humanity portrayed and the everyday interactions that make up relationships. Though the details involve the ordinary of relationships, this book and its themes are far from ordinary. The important questions of life are wrapped up in the careful details of this lovely book. I am reminded why reading fiction is so important to me and to our culture. I love Desiree Cooper's prose and voice.

    20. This slender book of more than thirty short short stories is one of the most memorable and giftable things I've read in recent years. Her style is a kind of poetic prose that rings like a bell. I'll be getting a few more copies as gifts for female friends - I can't imagine a better Mother's Day gift.

    21. This is a superb collection of flash fiction and slightly longer short stories that comprise a kaleidoscope of vignettes of motherhood across centuries of African American women's experiences around and outside of Detroit, and across class lines. It would make a stirring paired read with Bonnie Jo Campbell's Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.

    22. A moving collection of flash fiction centered around relationships involving mothers, whether it is mothers to husbands, mothers to themselves, or mothers to their children, each story delivers a well-rounded character or characters in the space of a few pages.

    23. Great Reading for a Rainy DayWonderfully written vignettes. Reading this collection was like sneaking a peak into the souls of other women, mothers, daughters and finding a glimpse of yourself.

    24. The stories have such a huge range, from extremely suspenseful, to warm and loving, I was amazed by the impact Desiree Cooper was able to deliver in such few pages.

    25. This collection of stories feels like a string of deep dives in the time it takes to dip a toe in a puddle.

    26. Every woman will read this book and recognize something about themselves. Everyone who knows a woman will be grateful for how much they learn about her in this book. Excellent read.

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