family

Listener Essay - Mother's Day Retort

May 9, 2014

  Kate Cohen is a writer and editor in Albany, New York. You can find more of her work at katecohen.net.

    

  In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. Amidst the glare of international public interest, the governor, along with his daughter Mary, Michael’s twin, set off on a futile search, only to return empty handed and empty hearted. What followed were Mary’s 27-year repression of her grief and an unconscious denial of her twin’s death, which haunted her relationships and controlled her life.

In her frank and moving memoir, When Grief Calls Forth the Healing: A Memoir of Losing a Twin, Mary Rockefeller Morgan struggles to claim an individual identity, which enables her to face Michael’s death and the huge loss it engendered. In the book, she shares her healing journey and her story of moving forward into a life of new beginnings and meaning, especially in her work with others who have lost a twin.

Listener Essay - Folding Laundry

Apr 3, 2014

    Pamela Ethington is a writer who divides her time between Syracuse, where her home is, and Woodstock, N.Y., where her heart is. Her work has been published in New Millenium Writings. She is a student of author Martha Frankel in Woodstock.

    Lyrysa Smith’s sister, Molly, got a severe brain injury from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her husband died lying next to her in the hotel bed. After nine days in a coma, Molly emerged. But not the Molly that Lyrysa knew.

Her new book, A Normal Life: A Sister’s Odyssey Through Brain Injury, is not a story about recovery. Molly got better, then worse, and then simply different.

Lyrysa tells the story of her sister’s brain injury—its impact on her, their close relationship, and their entire family. She looks to how they were all turned inside out and forever changed by the harrowing complexities of this most damaging and mysterious of injuries.

www.broadway.com

    Popular actress, Annie Potts, played - and this is really cherry-picking from her numerous credits - Mary Jo Shively for sevens season on the CBS series, Designing Women and Janine Melnitz in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. She received a Golden Globe nod for her work in Corvette Summer and voiced the memorable Bo Peep in Pixar’s Toy Story I and II.

Potts is currently playing Berthe in The Tony Award Winning Broadway Revival of Pippin at The Music Box Theatre.

Pippin has a book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. This revival is directed by Diane Paulus and features sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts de la Main. Gypsy Snider helmed the Circus Creation and the choreography is by Chet Walker.

Sara Krulwich/New York Times

    Outside Mullingar - a new play by John Patrick Shanley - the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of Doubt and directed by Tony-winning director Doug Hughes, is currently running at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on West 47th Street in New York City.

Tony winner, Brían F. O’Byrne, and Emmy winner, Debra Messing, play Anthony and Rosemary, two introverted misfits straddling 40. Anthony has spent his entire life on a cattle farm in rural Ireland, a state of affairs that - due to his painful shyness - suits him well. Rosemary lives right next door, determined to have him, watching the years slip away.

Outside Mullingar is a very Irish story with a surprising depth of poetic passion, these yearning, eccentric souls fight their way towards solid ground and hope to find some kindness and happiness.

    In his New York Times–bestselling I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, Dave Barry embarked on the treacherous seas of adulthood, to hilarious results. What comes next? Parenthood, of course, and families.

In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating to funeral instructions, the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey, and a father’s ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert.

    Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son is Lori Duron’s poignant memoir of her adventures in raising a gender creative child. The book comes from Lori’s popular blog of the same name.

Raising My Rainbow is the story of her family as they navigate the often challenging but never dull privilege of raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son.

    Jamie Ford's first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was a surprise New York Times bestseller. His second book, Songs of Willow Frost is the story of a Chinese-American orphan in Seattle during The Great Depression.

  Secrets, large and small, are a fact of human life. The new book, Secrets & Lies, explores the impact of keeping secrets; how they can damage our sense of self, jeopardize relationships and also the healing power of truth.

Author Jane Isay has found, people survive learning the most disturbing facts that have been hidden from them. And secret keepers are relieved when they finally reveal themselves--and things they are ashamed of--to the people they care about. Much depends, Isay writes, on the way of telling and the way of hearing.

    Christa Parravani is a photographer, capital region native, and author of the acclaimed new memoir, Her: A Memoir about the life and early death of her identical twin, Cara. For several years after her identical twin died of a drug overdose in 2006, Christa would look in the mirror and see her sister's face staring back at her. No matter where she went, she could not escape the image of her twin.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Members of the Norman Rockwell family are angered over a biography of the painter published earlier this year.

  A week ago on this program, we spoke to art critic Deborah Solomon about her new biography of iconic artist, Norman Rockwell, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell. The book is a 493-page account of the life and work of the longtime illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post.

Since the release of the book and recording of our interview with Solomon, the family of Norman Rockwell has come out saying they are angered by the book and shocked at the suggestions that Rockwell could have been secretly gay or had pedophilic impulses.

A statement issued by the Norman Rockwell Family Agency says – "Ms. Solomon's conclusions demand scrutiny. The Family now feels that her purpose in befriending us and writing this fictionalized account was publicity, financial gain and self-aggrandizement.”

Thomas Rockwell is Norman Rockwell’s second son and an author. Perhaps best known for his young adult classic, How to Eat Fried Worms He joins us along with his daughter, Norman Rockwell’s granddaughter, Abigail Rockwell.

  On December 14, 2012, Scarlett Lewis experienced something that no parent should ever have to endure: she lost her son Jesse in an act of unimaginable violence. The day started just like any other, but when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Scarlett’s life changed forever.

Following Jesse’s death, Scarlett went on an unexpected journey, inspired by a simple three-word message he had scrawled on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died: Norurting Helin Love (Nurturing Healing Love). It was as if he knew just what his family would need in order to go on after this horrible tragedy.

**As mentioned in the interview posted here, J.T. Lewis' website is newtownhelpsrwanda.org.**

  Tina Lincer is a writing in Loudonville, NY.

Joan Marcus

The Roundabout Theatre Company’s Roundabout Underground program gives productions to emerging playwrights. Last year, they had a hit with Bad Jews - a play by Joshua Harmon, directed by Daniel Aukin.

The show did so well in their 62-seat Black Box Theatre, in fact, that they brought it back to run in the Laura Pels Theatre (their bigger-small space) as part of their season this year - where it continues to earn excellent reviews and enthusiastic response from audiences.

In the play a young Jewish woman, Diana (played by Tracee Chimo, she prefers to be called by her Hebrew name, Daphna) fights with her cousin, Liam, to get a religious relic left behind by their recently deceased grandfather - who had kept it safe during his years in a concentration camp by holding it beneath his tongue. Liam’s brother (Jonah, played by Philip Ettinger) and girlfriend (Melody, played by Molly Ranson) observe and reluctantly weigh-in as Daphna and Liam argue and insult-sling as only family can.

Michael Zegen plays Liam in Bad Jews. Zegen attended Skidmore College and his other Off-Broadway credits include Liz Meriwether’s Oliver Parker! and Greg Moss’ punkplay. On television he’s been featured in recurring roles on The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, How to Make It in America, Rescue Me, and he’ll appear in the upcoming season of the HBO hit, Girls. His film credits include Adventureland, Taking Woodstock, and Frances Ha.

    Author Mary Beth Wenger, longtime Albany-area TV news anchor and reporter, joins us this morning to discuss her new book, Finding Grandma: A Sentimental Journey Through 1920s Columbia County Recipes.

The book is the story of Wenger's search for the grandmother she never knew. Stumbling over a hidden legacy left behind by Grandma Edna in an authentic 1920s recipe collection, she embarked on a voyage of discovery.

The turn of every crumbling, yellowed page unlocked mysteries, as she uncovered recipes either handwritten or snipped from newspapers, often affixed with straight pins to the pages! This was an unexpected springboard into the past, spurring a nostalgic journey that jumps back and forth from the 1920s to today.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s book on parents, children and the bond between them and the cases of extreme difference - was published to ecstatic acclaim last year - landing on best-seller lists across the country, and "Best of" lists from The New York Times, Amazon, The Economist and more.

The book has now been released in paperback. Solomon opens Far From the Tree with an autobiographical chapter detailing his experience as a gay son of heterosexual parents. At the time of his youth, homosexuality was considered an illness and a crime. The book is about the struggle for those who are different and their need to find their own identity.

Listener Essay - One Thanksgiving

Nov 27, 2013

  Lynn Elliot Francis has studied privately with authors in upstate New York, where she lives, and at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Ripton, Vermont.

  Tina Lincer is a writer living in Loudonville, NY.

Listener Essay - A Thanksgiving Paradox

Nov 25, 2013

  Kate Cohen is a writer and editor in Albany, New York.

    The Astor Orphan: A Memoir is a memoir by a direct descendant of John Jacob Astor, Alexandra Aldrich.

In it, she tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family’s Hudson Valley Mansion; and her escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches back to the Gilded Age when the Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch of the family penniless and squabbling over what was left.

    In Survival Lessons, Alice Hoffman - one of America's most beloved writers - shares her suggestions for finding beauty in the world even during the toughest times.

Wise, gentle, and wry, Alice Hoffman teaches all of us how to choose what matters most.

Feminist film critic and author Molly Haskell was disoriented -to say the least- when her brother told her he had “gender dysphoria” and was going to transition from male to female.

She shares the story of their experience in My Brother My Sister.

    Award-winning poet Jeanne Murray Walker tells an extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching tale of her mother's long passage into dementia.

This powerful story explores parental love, profound grief, and the unexpected consolation of memory.

  The documentary feature film, Breastmilk is screening as part of the upcoming Woodstock Film Festival.

Despite endless research on the benefits of breastfeeding, the stigma surrounding the natural practice has led to a new world of motherhood where maternity confronts sexuality and naturalists are confront a culture of baby formula, breast pumps and skepticism. The film features a wide range of frank and revealing interviews with breastfeeding women as they addresses the many questions around breast milk.

First time director/producer Dana Ben-Ari joins us now to talk about her experience making the film.

Essay - Five Years Later

Sep 12, 2013

  Steve Lewis is a member of the Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute faculty and freelance writer. He has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Spirituality and Health, and a biblically long list of parenting magazines and books (7 kids, 16 grandchildren). He is also a contributing writer for Talking Writing Magazine.

    We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight MASS Humanities and their Family Adventures in Reading program. The idea is to explore diversity, knowing about the world; children responding to humanities themes through literature and illustration. The program emphasizes the importance of adult-child interaction with reading and conversation.

To discuss, we welcome, Mary Jo Maichack - a national award-winning singer, storyteller and creative teaching artist; and Hayley Wood - a Senior program Officer at Mass Humanities. She is the editor of Mass Humanities' blog, The Public Humanist and she manages Family Adventures in Reading.

    Today’s children are glued not only to the television set, but to tablets, computers, and other electronic devices. Millions of parents and educators have turned to Jim Trelease’s beloved classic to help countless children become avid readers and to improve their language skills.

There is an updated edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook that discusses the benefits, the rewards, and the importance of reading aloud to children of a new generation.

    After two acclaimed historical novels, one of Canada’s most celebrated writers now gives us the contemporary story of a man studying the suddenly confusing shape his life has taken, and why, and what his responsibilities—as a husband, a father, a brother, and an uncle—truly are.

Dennis Bock’s new novel is Going Home Again.

Pages