Gini Alhadeff was born in Alexandria, Egypt, of Italian parents. After attending a French kindergarten in Khartoum, Alhadeff learned English in Tokyo, graduated from high school in Florence, Italy, and from art schools in London and New York. She is the author of a memoir, The Sun at Midday: Tales of a Mediterranean Family, and of a novel, Diary of a Djinn. She founded and edited two literary quarterlies, Normal, and XXIst Century! in the late 80's, and has since contributed regularly to Italian Elle, and to Travel + Leisure magazine; more recently also to the quarterlies Bidoun, The Drawbridge and to T Magazine. In 2004 she won Mexico's Pluma de Plata award for journalism. She edited and translated the first American anthology of Italian poet Patrizia Cavalli, My Poems Won’t Change the World (FSG 2013) and her translation of Fleur Jaeggy’s collection of stories, I Am the Brother of XX, will be published by New Directions in 2017.
“I had always assumed that neither of my parents would end up in an old folks’ home. And yet here was Mum, ensconced in a world of pad-covered recliner chairs, legion singalongs, ball-tossing exercises done sitting down, plastic cups of juice, Jell-O, and fluorescent lights. “Mum, this really isn’t a home; it’s more like a hotel for old people,” I’d tell her, and that temporarily softened the blow for both of us.” —An excerpt from the book
Molly Lamb Bobak (1922–2014) was the first woman to travel overseas as an official Canadian war artist. She was also the daughter of famous Canadian artist Harold Mortimer-Lamb, whose contemporaries included Emily Carr, A.Y. Jackson, and Jack Shadbolt. In this homage to her artist mother, Anny Scoones rounds out her mother’s public profile by revealing personal stories.
Anny’s memories reveal the funny and touching details of her relationship with Molly, from the road trips they took together to the visits Molly would make to Victoria to visit Anny on Glamorgan Farm, and the lovely chaos that ensued when Anny’s five dogs would greet Molly in the car. Anny shares their little inside jokes and the memories they made together in a way that brings their connection—beyond mother–daughter bond to close friendship—to life for the reader.
As her mother ages and becomes increasingly frail, Anny spends more and more time in Fredericton. Their road trips grow shorter, and Anny’s reflections on how it feels to finally watch her mother go are tender, heartbreaking, and memorable.
Playing with Dynamite is about the family secrets that can distance us from each other and the honesty that can bring us closer. It’s about a daughter who goes looking for her father but finds her mother instead. It’s about memory and truth, grieving and growing, and what it means to go home again.
In the winter of 2000, shortly after his mother's death from cancer and malnourishment, Donald Antrim, author of the absurdist, visionary masterworks Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, The Hundred Brothers, and The Verificationist, began writing about his family. In pieces that appeared in The New Yorker and were anthologized in Best American Essays, Antrim explored
his intense and complicated relationships with his mother, Louanne, an artist and teacher who was, at her worst, a ferociously destabilized and destabilizing alcoholic; his gentle grandfather, who lived in the mountains of North Carolina and who always hoped to save his daughter from herself; and his father, who married Louanne twice.
The Afterlife is not a temporally linear coming-of-age memoir; instead, Antrim follows a logic of unconscious life, of dreams and memories, of fantasies and psychoses, the way in which the world of the alcoholic becomes a sleepless, atemporal world. In it, he comes to terms with—and fails to comes to terms with—the nature of addiction and the broken states of loneliness, shame, and loss that remain beyond his power to fully repair. This is a tender and even blackly hilarious portrait of a family—faulty, cracked, enraging. It is also the story of the way the author works, in part through writing this book, to become a man more fully alive to himself and to others, a man capable of a life in which he may never learn, or ever hope to know, the nature of his origins.