I just started reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed (yes, I have been under a rock for the past few years) and am completely swept away by it. Strayed, who’s also behind the much-adored Dear Sugar advice column at The Rumpus (which has been turned into a book called Tiny Beautiful Things, which you will read and then instantly buy for all your friends), describes tough decisions and what it is to be human in a way that nobody else quite can.
In honor of the campaign to turn one of her best Dear Sugar columns into an animation (and simply because her words never get less awesome), here are some of Strayed’s most wonderful and inspiring quotes about life, love, fear and forgiveness: Keep reading »
Shailene Woodley loves a lot of things: Mother Earth, eating clay, making her own organic toothpaste, basking her vagina in the sun’s rays. But she love-love-loves the author Danielle LaPorte, who, in a Daily Beast interview, she refers to as “a sister beyond sisters.” Shailene raved about LaPorte’s book The Desire Map, which she explained is about “ basically charting the things that you want in life, and not just sitting back and saying, ‘I’m going to manifest this … here’s how,’ but actively doing something to manifest your dream.”
Now, I’d be lying if I said that anytime Shailene Woodley says she loves something — such as eating clay — I didn’t go Google it immediately. So here are a few things to know about a sister beyond sisters, motivational speaker Danielle LaPorte: Keep reading »
The death of Maya Angelou, a lioness of American arts and letters, marked the end of her truly extraordinary career. She leaves behind a body of work that is, quite frankly, exhaustive. The Poetry Foundation has a full list of Angelou’s contributions to literature, poetry, theater and film and many her poems can be found on Poem Hunter.
I also thought I would share some videos of Angelou reading some of her most well-known pieces. Above is Angelou reading her famous poem “Still I Rise.” Here are a few more after the jump. Keep reading »
Maya Angelou, a poet and civil rights activist, has died at 86. Angelou is most well-known for her memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings about growing up poor and Black in the South and she leaves behind a trove of poetry, plays, and other books. Angelou was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King and James Baldwin. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for a book of poetry in 1971, read a poem at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2011, and a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2013. In her later life, Angelou was an educator at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her death was confirmed by her literary agent this morning. [Charlotte.TWCnews.com; New York Times]
As we mentioned earlier today, Chipotle had the genius idea to feature short selections of original literature on their various food surfaces, like cups, takeout bags, etc. Not only does this help keep customers entertained while they’re dining, but it prevents the awkward eating-alone scenario from being so awkward, and it’s educational. After I heard this news, I asked myself for about two hours why I never thought of it, because it’s such a glaringly obvious fix to a common human problem. Oh well. That ship has sailed, but here are eight other obvious places humans could really use some reading material. Let’s make it happen… Keep reading »
Motherhood. We all have a vision in mind of what it’s supposed to look like: warm, nurturing, saccharine, even beatific. Even the messier versions we allow — frazzled new parent anxiety, daylight zombies — still position the mother as with-it and in control. But what about the mothers who are anything but in control? What about the mothers who have an addiction in control of them?
Jowita Bydlowska is the author of a searing memoir, Drunk Mom, about her 11-month relapse into alcoholism after her son’s birth. A sober alcoholic, Bydlowska toasted her son’s birth with a glass of champagne. Then she began drinking regularly in the overwhelming new days of parenthood. At first her relapse was easy to hide, especially home alone on maternity leave with a newborn. But soon, the addiction metastasized into full-blown alcoholism once again, causing her to make dangerous decisions about her own and her baby’s safety and shrouding her relationship with her baby’s father in lies. When she finally makes it to rehab, the reader is relieved everyone is still alive.
Drunk Mom, which will be published in America on May 27th, is a discomforting read. It’s bare-naked honesty about addiction and families will make a lot of people uncomfortable, especially those with idealized versions of what motherhood and womanhood “should” mean. It’s by far one of the best memoirs that I’ve ever read (and yes, I’m including Wild in that) both for it’s candor and bravery and for her narration. I understand addiction all the better with once-again-sober Jowita Bydlowska as the Charon to this Hades, our guide to the underworld.
I called Bydlowska in Canada where she lives with her now-five-year-old son.
Keep reading »