It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday! If you know a mom who loves to read, send her this week’s Public Bookshelf. It features four of our favorite PB articles about motherhood, including a review of Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?, and an essay on Sally Mann’s extraordinary family photography.
Since its release in mid-July, Stranger Things, Netflix’s new drama / thriller / 1980s period piece, has been praised as an “original,” “meticulous” homage to the Great Men of 1980s popular culture (Carpenter, King, Lucas, Spielberg). The series, created by the Duffer Brothers, has also been heralded as Winona Ryder’s big “comeback” moment. … Keep Reading
In her memoir, Sally Mann cites a saying: when an asshole makes good art, he is remembered as an asshole who made good art, but when an asshole makes bad art, he’s just remembered as an asshole. But when someone who made good art is accused of being a Bad Mother, can she ever be remembered as anything but a Bad Mother? … Keep Reading
Natalia Mehlman Petrzela
My two-year-old daughter plays on the beach in a tiny red, white, and blue swimsuit, her chest emblazoned with winged yellow Ws that need no explanation. At a glance, the suit appears of a piece with the branded Dora the Explorer and Mermaid Ariel gear sported by fellow toddlers frolicking on the shoreline. Unlike her animated little sisters who harken from the cutesy realms of Nick Jr. and Disney, however, Wonder Woman is a full-grown Amazon, invested in 1941 by her creator with the heady mission to serve as “psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who,” he believed, “should rule the world.” … Keep Reading
For hard-core fans of Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic—and we are legion—the publication this year of Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama is a major event. Bechdel’s beautiful, witty, absorbing memoir about her father was one of the most beloved books of the past decade. With its layered personal and social histories, its play with perspective and memory, and its sheer narrative interest, Fun Home was an instant classic. In her most recent book, Bechdel expands the intimate archive of her family, turning the focus from her father to her mother. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that many have reacted to the book with an emotion often directed at mothers: rageful disappointment. … Keep Reading