Two new bestselling memoirs written by authors living in the Fox Valley doesn’t happen often. This spring Laura Jean Baker and David McGlynn found themselves launching new books based on essays reflecting on parenthood.
In time for Mother’s Day, The Motherhood Affidavits arrived in April from Workman. Laura Jean Baker is the mother of five, teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and is married to a local attorney she says others describe as the OWI guy. With the birth of her first child, Laura Jean Baker discovered the antidote to depression she long suffered and gets hooked on the love hormone oxytocin. She identifies more and more with her husband’s legal clients as she reports on their alleged crimes. She interrogates her own innocence yet wrenches compassion for the locals who run afoul of the law.
Joyce Carol Oates describes it as “a beautiful and brave memoir of motherhood and its discontents, which are indistinguishable from its joys. This is a warmly intimate yet intellectually provocative personal document of originality and considerable charm.”
David McGlynn delivered One Day You’ll Thank Me: Lessons from an Unexpected Fatherhood in time for Father’s Day this year. It’s a funny and poignant memoir on raising boys to become good men. McGlynn teaches English at Lawrence University and is the author of The Door in the Ocean. Counterpoint has published both of his memoirs to critical acclaim.
Like Laura Jean Baker, David McGlynn became a parent at the end graduate school and then moved to start a job and family in the Fox Valley. Chapters are essays or lessons based on his refreshingly honest confessions and descriptions of hilarious moments in his family life. How to keep your son in his room at night without detection from Child Protective Services. Spoiler alerts on Santa’s death. The sense of humor expands our understanding of what it means to be a dad in America today.
There are two opportunities to meet David McGlynn during Fox Cities Book Festival 2018. On October 9 at 4:30 pm in the Warch Campus Center at Lawrence University and on October 10 at 6:30 pm in the Neenah Public Library. He will give a reading and have a conversation with the audience.
Come hear Laura Jean Baker. “The Motherhood Affidavits – How to Tell Your Own Story,” will be held at the Neenah Public Library at 11 am on October 13. Please join Laura Jean Baker to learn how her braided memoir might serve as a template for your own life story. In writing memoir, we witness and record what happens to us. Writing memoir is the art of blending past selves with the present self to create meaning.