Motherland: A Novel

Monday, August 20, 2012

Amy Sohn, author of Motherland: A Novel, talks about marriage and parenting in New York City through the lens of her new novel.

Sohn will be at a reading and book signing on September 5th at Book Court in Brooklyn.


Amy Sohn

Comments [22]

11201-nik from Bklyn

I'm with "Chappie," the last poster as I write - only "snark" doesn't begin to describe the vitriol this segment somehow unleashed.

Usually, when you hear reactions like this, you wonder whether - in this case - A.S. got it "too right" and people don't like what they see in the mirror.

But I suspect that isn't it this time. YES, Park Slope is NOT representative of NYC (or even Bklyn) in 2012. But the "artists" who listen to WNYC while they art (or await "inspiration") are dying to get the attention of the folks in that 'hood ... plus Tribeca, the Upper West Side and - obviously - a good half of Manhattan by population and territory.

The scoffers do well to KNOW what their financial betters are up to. Maybe, it will give them comfort that some of the wealth (a tiny part, alas) of the 1-10% is going "up their noses," but Brian's guest was right in saying that these issues are not limited to zipcode 11215 or those above NYC's crazy median income.

Plenty of suburban moms and gay dads everywhere - people who started their families at 35 or so - share at least some of the issues she touched on.

Finally, that insane comment that "working class people are not surprised that parenthood forces them to make some adjustments" is more "precious" than anything on the broadcast segment. (Is that from a 30-something or someone who's trapped in 1930's thinking?) Most of sentient America has awakened to the fact that 16-year olds who think it'd be dope to have a baby are the ones who give the Tea Party the traction it now has.

Let the (upper) middle class do some navel-gazing if they like. Laugh at their concerns if you like, deplore them if you must, but don't think yourself better because you're too busy or poor or unimaginative to have an affair. (And yes, there are plenty of other - better - reasons, I know!)

Aug. 20 2012 06:10 PM
chappie from Los Angeles, Ca

Wow. Judging from the snark generated on this board there are a lot of resentful listeners out there with nothing better to do with their time. Need a drink, anyone?

Aug. 20 2012 04:52 PM
Elsie from Brooklyn

How about enforced sterilization for all upper middle class people in Park Slope? I think at this point it would be considered a community service to the rest of the country. Seems like tuppies can't handle parenting......or anything else, for that matter. And do we really need more incompetent, entitled children becoming adults? Sterilization seems like a win-win situation for all concerned.

Aug. 20 2012 01:00 PM

I agree 100% with the Artist who called who was critical about this. You are really talking talking about a privileged class of people. Does anyone really care about this! When I feel like going out with my friends and enjoying them as much as I want, that's exactly what I do. I never thought of it a 'mid-life crises.' I am just an individual.

Aug. 20 2012 12:20 PM
John A

I'm pleased to see so many 'antibodies' of rejection descending on this segment coming from local people. I was going to say that if this segment were translated and played in some poor country it would be excellent for fomenting anti-US hatred. No need, the resistance forms right here it seems.

Aug. 20 2012 12:06 PM
tim from nyc

O vey, Brian, did we really have to waste 15 min on this?

Aug. 20 2012 12:04 PM
Stephen from Not Park Slope

Ms. Sohn referred to her book as a "major American novel." My lord. What an ego.

Aug. 20 2012 12:02 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

All of these comments are right on the money. And I completely agree with the caller who felt that the convo sounds "precious," coming from a place of privilege.

Aug. 20 2012 12:01 PM
mike on long island

a very annoying woman. if she isnt making half of it up, then its even sadder than it sounds. of all the things that could be written about, she picks this? what a waste of time, ink, paper. the only people that could possibly be interested in this are the same types of people she writes of in the book. horrible segment, horrible topic.

Aug. 20 2012 12:00 PM
Sharon Frost

Some of the self-centerdness that bothered me in the author as she was interviewed might be reflected in the fact that she describes her own novel as a "major novel". The dark side of Park Slope.

Aug. 20 2012 11:59 AM
Sonny Ames from Kabul Hell

Ugh. Yups Version 2.0 and their phoney problems. Makes me pine for the whining Boomers.

Aug. 20 2012 11:59 AM
Kay from NYC

Amy Sohn: "environment affects everyone equally?" I think AS needs to re-examine where she comes from. She has zero class analysis.

Aug. 20 2012 11:59 AM
G from Oregon

Oh good, more navel gazing by the over-privileged Park Slope class. Thank goodness I moved away before the neighborhood killed my soul.

Aug. 20 2012 11:57 AM
Lisa from Forest Hills

I think most people going through this crisis thought they knew what being a parent involved. Then were shocked how much of their lives were changed and how much they had to sacrifice. Lower income people probably do not experience this simply because they grew up with more realistic expectations.

Aug. 20 2012 11:56 AM
Guy from Park Slope

it's amazing:
1. what gets published these days

2. the incredible shallowness of this self-regarding "generation." They see going out boozing and drug using with children at home as "entitlements." These urban parents think they are entitled to push their "adventures" on the rest of us (who don't care) as blithely as they think their dogs have the right to drink from human drinking fountains in Central Park. Then we have entirely manufactured conversations like this, and authors ready to capitalize on imagined "trends" by pretending they have something to say. This segment is irrelevant.

Aug. 20 2012 11:55 AM
John A

Talks of drug use with kids... honest maybe, but can I express support? No.

Aug. 20 2012 11:55 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

So...if a group of women go out together for a drink and happen to be over 40 it means they are REVERTING???

So basically you hit 40 and you should just be miserable and never have any fun? Man, that is stupid.

yes, this is a book by a pretentious, priviliged, spoiled, elitist, yuppie from the way it's coming off in some of the author's comments.

Aug. 20 2012 11:55 AM
Mary from Clinton Hill

Hear hear to the Prospect Heights caller.

Aug. 20 2012 11:55 AM
Stephen from Prospect Heights

Not that radical. Emblematic of more me orientated self absorption of the middle class. Rick Moody documented several years ago in his ode to the early 70s, in the Ice Storm. Both my parents, not in the 70s, lived freely and regretfully super selfishly.

Aug. 20 2012 11:54 AM
Brian in Greenpoint from Greenpoint

This commentary about "crisis" is more about a crisis that privilege provides. The author speaks more about a prolonged notion of adolescence informed by class than an actual existential crisis. Where the white male authors of 1960s and 70s (Updike, Cheever, et al) also involved a certain level of self-absorption, they often married their crisis to larger metaphysical and existential questions. Does the author comment on these kinds of themes that stretch, well, beyond the Slope.

Aug. 20 2012 11:53 AM
Stephen from Prospect Heights

Emblematic of more me orientated self absorption documented by Rick Moody in his ode to the early 70s in the Ice Storm. Both my parents now 70 lived fully and regretfully selfishly.

Aug. 20 2012 11:51 AM
Kay from NYC

Woowoo look at me I'm a slut I'm a druggie! So sad. Imagined crises. Upper middle class problems.

Aug. 20 2012 11:50 AM

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