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Ghost Stories, by E. M. Broner

Photo Jul 03, 3 28 34 PMWith wit, compassion and a poet’s acuity of language, E. M. Broner tells the deepest truths about mothers and daughters.
~Mary Gordon, 2008 Official State Author of New York

One of the themes most difficult to express in twentieth-century prose is ambivalence. Yet all emotion is mixed, a mingling of ingredients that ordinary language insist we treat as opposites–love/hate, tenderness/contempt, madness/sanity, the comic and the sad–and on and on. And of all our ambivalent emotions, our feelings for our parents most so–and most intense. Esther Broner brings to her stories about the dying mother her unique gifts for a lush prose that is never overblown, for a quality of healing that does not hesitate to probe the wound, and for brilliant literary composition. The stories I have read are beautiful moving expressions: they are honest without cynicism, loving without sentimentality, angry without bitterness. It is a brilliant idea to publish these stories as a volume.
~Marilyn French, author of The Women’s Room and From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women

E. M. Broner’s Ghost Stories is a chronology of stories, in which a woman helps her mother as she watches her grow old and die–only to have her immediately return, to tell all that she left out in life. As usual, the author of the feminist and literary classic A Weave of Women is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Broner is the author of several books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Telling and The Women’s Haggadah. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including two National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Wonder Woman award.

Click here for a review of Ghost Stories in The New York Times Review of Books.

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