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Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  420 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In this ground-breaking anthology, Ariel Gore and Bee Lavender ask real moms — from Web site designers to tattoo-clad waitresses — to laugh, cry, scream, and shout about motherhood. Allison Crews fights to have a voice and be recognized as a teen mother. Angela Morrill eschews both doctors and midwife and gives birth at home. Kimberly Bright draws compelling comparisons be ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 10th 2001 by Seal Press
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Sarah
I really loved this book. It had stories from so many different kinds of moms (from single pregnant teens to married couples struggling with infertility to lesbian moms adopting) and each essay provided a unique view point and theme. I liked that topics ranged from the serious like welfare, religion, and race to the more light hearted such as looking for pinworms. The book really shows that women who don't embody the socially approved ideal of the perfectly patient mother who makes cakes from sc ...more
Jenn
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: not-your-average mama
Recommended to Jenn by: Heidi
My sister-in-law sent this book to me when I was on bed rest and 8 months pregnant. It was perfect, because all I wanted to do was read about babies, and having babies, and babies that grow up - but I didn't want to read the same old thing. This book is a marvelous collection of essays from real mamas who are just a little left of center. It was great to read when I was worried that I'd lose my voice or lose myself when my baby was born. This book reminded me that life is change, and that it isn ...more
Mandy Brazee
Oct 18, 2007 rated it liked it
This book was a little granola even for me. However, it was interesting to get other perspectives on pregnancy and motherhood. I'm just glad St. Mary's considered the placenta biohazard material! I did NOT want to eat it like one author did!
Kristy
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Being pregnant is hard. If you're like me, you worry about everything--money, the food you're eating, environmental toxins, household toxins, eating cold cuts and soft cheese, cleaning the toilet with bleach, dying your hair,etc. etc. It's exhausting! But it's also important to remember that there are good, magical things about being pregnant and the reward in the end for all your worrying is worth it! Reading pregnancy and childbirth books all the time can be an unpleasant experience that does ...more
Jenny
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
I got this for a friend, but read it before giving. For every great motherhood perspective in this book, there were at least three ladies with entire new-agey stories/rambling trains of thought about the cosmic connection between pregnancy to stardust in the earthen goddess reverberations of still waters or whatever. It's just a personal preference of mine, but that kind of thing makes me gag. I also dislike it when people use the word "funky" to convey how counter-culture they are. Maybe instea ...more
Nancy
Sep 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Here is a collection of stories written by contemporary women, mothers, raising babies now. The stories show the deep complications felt and understood by mothers, forever, then compounded by our current culture and how they're getting by. One story lists a woman's rites of passage inclusive of her first deflected rape, then the one she failed to deflect, on to a marriage of disillusion, then the baby. There are stories of mothers struggling between the love of child and the need to leave the ba ...more
Marisa
Mar 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I feel mixed about this book. Some of the stories were excellent - unique, well-written, very moving. The last story about a woman's transition from being a 20-year-old single mother to being a 30-something married mother of 3 learning to surf was just gorgeous. Others felt forgettable, or they were great stories but told poorly. I also would have liked to read an essay from Ariel Gore herself, who I always find to be incredibly articulate, inspiring, and genuine.

This was worth my time, but a b
...more
Chelsea
Oct 16, 2007 rated it liked it
a collection of essays from gen x mothers. some were okay, some were really good, some were beautiful. wading through the ones that were okay was totally worth it for the brilliant ones. a great read - esp. for young moms and anyone interested in relating to, understand or connecting with the moms all around us. deals with issues of race, adoptions, same-sex marriage, single motherhood, the tension of self-preservation vs. self sacrifice, identity shifts, work/home balance... etc.... but overwhe ...more
Sara
Dec 08, 2010 rated it liked it
A collection of essays written by women about becoming mothers. A lot of humor here, and bizarre stories from "non-traditional" moms about issues surrounding marriage/partnership, pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Strong bent towards drug-free childbirth, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, etc. - which is not my scene, but I still loved reading about motherhood from different perspectives. Bottom line: it's a fun book to read when you're a hormonal and exhausted new mom.
passeriform
This anthology is, like so many anthologies, a mixed bag.

It's great to hear a range of voices, including those of young parents, which are often left out of parenting conversations. (I mean, our culture loves to talk about 'teen moms,' but not so much with them.) This collection is intended as a counterpoint to mainstream 'mom' memoirs, and it works pretty well in that capacity.

Some of the essays are just poorly-written and/or boring, though, and could have used more assertive editing. And some
...more
Allison Renner
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non
I was drawn to this book because I feel fairly “alternative” when it comes to motherhood. There were a lot of stories about home births, which I had, and I enjoyed reading those. But some essays seemed a little too try-hard. It might just be that I read most in one sitting, so it got to be a bit much.
Marnie
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a book of stories written by a bunch of Generation X moms. Most of them are very left leaning & into the punk movement, & they think of themselves as "hip". (Basically all the things I'm not.) Even though I disagreed with many of the choices these mothers made (having kids out of wedlock, being promiscuous, raising their kids out of a van, consciously choosing to have more kids when they were already on welfare, etc) the stories were fascinating & really entertaining. It was kind of fun ...more
Jennifer
Apr 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, motherhood
This is another compilation of essays about motherhood. What makes this book different from some others is that the mothers are "alternative" moms or moms that don't "fit" society's views of a typical mother. The mothers in this book are unwed mothers, lesbian mothers, adoptive mothers, single mothers. But no matter how different these mothers may be from your own upbringing or circumstances, I think all mothers can find a common ground in these essays. After all, all kids poop whether their mot ...more
Jennifer
Dec 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2009
Good, quick read. This is a collection of stories from a "new generation of mothers" (which I believe my age may exclude me from) but some of the stories really hit home with me having been a single mom for so many years. I would actually give it 3.5 stars if I could because the stories were really well written and interesting. There's definitely something in this book that every mother or mother to-be could relate to.
Nicole Petta
Apr 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Appropriately, I think, I've finished reading this book on Mother's Day. As most multiple author books do, this one had its ups and downs. Some of the stories were well written and emotionally engaging. Some lacked appeal for me, but may have resonated with others. All in all I found it to be a good read that was nice to set down and pick back up several times. I recommend it to anyone looking for more perspectives on motherhood than just their own.
Hillary
I love this book. I've read it several times, and it was really the first book that caused me to question the "normal" family. Each story in this book is from a woman who is raising a child the way she thinks is right. And one of the common threads is balancing her life with her child's needs. Some of them I don't agree with, but you know what? Not my life, and not my kid. Ergo, not my business...
Lisa
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
A lot of good writing, but a little monotonous. It's funny, the mothers who wrote stories were supposed to generally be those who "break the mold" - but the stories I enjoyed most concerned more "traditional" mothers, especially the story of the Korean immigrant in Queens and the poor family in San Antonio. Not necessarily lesbians or hippies - just people trying to get by. Anyway, good book, would recommend it for a bus ride.
Molly
Mar 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenthood
I think it depends on why you are reading this: if you are compelled by varying stories of motherhood, this is a nice edition to any collection; if you are looking to read narratives that are deeply moving, there are some here (and some, I question the editors choices--a slimmer collection without the so-what pieces would have been so much stronger); if you are looking for phenomenal writing, I would, for the most part, look elsewhere.
Holly Miller
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it
The new generation of mothers is women that previously would not have been approved of to be mothers. Teenagers, lesbians, strippers. Of course lots of people still wouldn't approve of them being mothers but there are still many more opportunities now. For the most part I found this book pretty boring. I think it is cool to read about the experiences of different kinds of mothers, the book just wasn't as interesting as I would have liked.
sdw
Apr 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to sdw by: Mindy
This book contains a collection of essays from a diversity of mammas. Each story is written in a different style from a different perspective. Many were highly enjoyable to read, like good literature. I liked the collective portrait they paint about the variety of mothering experiences and the delicate balance each finds among her various goals, and hopes, and experiences.
Imene
Jun 13, 2010 rated it liked it
It's a cute collection of essays about motherhood. A nice reminder that motherhood comes in different styles and that the most important thing is that we love our children.
Although i have to disagree that it represents the new type of mothers. I wasn't able to connect to any profile depicted in the book
Lisa
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was ok
This just wasn't as great as I was hoping for. The writing was sometimes fine, other times left me wondering if a particular writer was just in there because she was in a writers' group with someone else. I saw neither a bridge holding these pieces together, nor an explanation of the diversity. It was just, blah, there.
Sarah
Aug 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is full of hilarious and endearing stories, and it is definitely worth reading. Unfortunately, edgey books from the perspective of my generational peers usually just remind me of how thoroughly old school I am. These people are breeders in seriously ingenious and often difficult circumstances. There really is no one way to bring up a healthy, strong child. Or parent.
Elyssa
Oct 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
This is what happens when Gen X-ers become parents. A great assortment of honest vignettes about the joys and challenges of being a parent. When you are in the trenches of parenting day after day, you can't get enough of this!
Molly
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Some of the stories were amusing, but most I couldn't relate to. Well, guess I'm not that hip. I don't have tattoos and a rock n' roll boyfriend. I didn't have a natural water birth with a lesbian midwife in attendance.
Carrie
Jan 14, 2010 added it
essays,parenting
April
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Baby Vibe" was my favorite!
Tonyia
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I liked the varied perspectives this book offered.
Mandy
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really great read for future moms or those having trouble momming.
Kayte Terry
Apr 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
not just for moms! i am a sucker for anthologies about women's lives and so far i am enjoying this. bonus for me: i later discovered that my used copy was autographed by one of the editors!
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Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
When I was a new mom, hip mama.com was a life support mechanism. This is a great collection from one of the earliest of the online mom communities.
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ARIEL GORE is the author of We Were Witches (The Feminist Press, 2017), The End of Eve (Hawthorne Books, 2014), and numerous other books on parenting, the novel The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, the memoir Atlas of the Human Heart, and the writer’s guide How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead. Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happi ...more

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