Mimi Slavitt’s three-year-old son is autistic, but if we told her, she wouldn’t listen, because she doesn’t want to know―until at last his behavior becomes so strange that even she can’t ignore it. Mimi inhabits a world nearly as isolating as her son’s―one that she shares with mothers like her, chosen against their will for lives of sacrifice and martyrdom. Searching for miracles, fighting heartless bureaucracies while arranging every minute of every day for children who can never be left alone, they exist in a state of perpetual crisis, normal life always just out of reach. In chapters told from Mimi’s point of view and theirs, we meet these mothers, each a complex character totally unsuitable for sainthood and dreaming of the day she can just she walk away. Taking its title from the 1950s reality show that made suffering housewives compete against each other for deluxe refrigerators and life-saving operations, Queen for a Day portrays a group of imperfect women under enormous pressure. Rosaler tells their story in ironic, precise and vivid prose, with dark humor and insight born of first-hand experience.
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Maxine Rosaler's fiction and nonfiction have been published in The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, Witness, Fifth Wednesday, Green Mountains Review, The Baltimore Review and other literary magazines. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Fiction. Stories of hers have been cited in editions of Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. She lives in New York City with her husband, Phillip Margulies.
This was such an empowering read. Moms have a hard life but to have a child who is autistic makes if harder to make it day to day.
I personally would be honored to have an autistic baby. But I was so inspired by these moms stories.
I hope that whether you have an autistic child or not that you will grab a copy of this book and take a look into other mothers lives.
I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend this read.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.