Apple, Tree


Apple, Tree

Writers on Their Parents

Edited and with an introduction by Lise Funderburg

232 pages
2 photographs


September 2019


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2019


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2019


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In this masterful collection of new essays, the apple looks at the tree. Twenty-five writers deftly explore a trait they’ve inherited from a parent, reflecting on how it affects the lives they lead today—how it shifts their relationship to that parent (sometimes posthumously) and to their sense of self.

Apple, Tree’s all-star lineup of writers brings eloquence, integrity, and humor to topics such as arrogance, obsession, psychics, grudges, table manners, luck, and laundry. Contributors include Laura van den Berg, S. Bear Bergman, John Freeman, Jane Hamilton, Mat Johnson, Daniel Mendelsohn, Kyoko Mori, Ann Patchett, and Sallie Tisdale, among others. Together, their pieces form a prismatic meditation on how we make fresh sense of ourselves and our parents when we see the pieces of them that live on in us.

Author Bio

Lise Funderburg is a writer and editor and a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania. Funderburg’s collection of oral histories, Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity, has become a core text in the study of American multiracial identity in college courses around the world. Her latest book is Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, National Geographic, Salon and the Nation.

Complete list of contributors: Karen Grigsby Bates, S. Bear Bergman, Kate Carroll de Gutes, Leland Cheuk, Lolis Eric Elie, Carolyn Ferrell, John Freeman, Lauren Grodstein, Jane Hamilton, Susan Ito, Mat Johnson, Donna Masini, Daniel Mendelsohn, Marc Mewshaw, Laura Miller, Kyoko Mori, Ann Patchett, Dana Prescott, Lizzie Skurnick, Avi Steinberg, Angelique Stevens, Clifford Thompson, Shukree Hassan Tilghman, Sallie Tisdale, and Laura van den Berg.


"Apple, Tree is a sweet, smart collection, and—it has to be said—a perfect gift for a parent you love."—Lily Meyer, NPR

"These essays, in addition to being resonant in their own right, will also move readers to recollect stories of their own parents."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Funderburg, who has explored her own parents and background in her memoir "Pig Candy," here gathers pieces from writers about a trait they've inherited from a mother or father. Ann Patchett, Daniel Mendelsohn and Laura van den Berg, among others, meditate on how attributes both physical and spiritual tie us to and distance us from our elders."—Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post

"Undoubtedly, parents influence us more deeply and irrevocably than any other people in our lives. The apple, after all, doesn't fall very far from the tree. This topic is given its rich and thoughtful due in Apple, Tree: Writers on Their Parents, an engrossing anthology of 25 delightfully diverse personal essays."—Laurie Hertzel, (Minneapolis) Star Tribune

"Lise Funderburg has collected diverse stories of parenthood and childhood, of love, loss, and remembrance. Apple, Tree is the perfect collection for anyone who has ever considered what legacies parents leave to their children."—Hannah Straton, Hippocampus Magazine

"Apple, Tree provides a thoughtful meditation on individuals' connections to heritage and legacy."—Elisabeth Woronzoff, Pop Matters

Apple, Tree is an unflinching exploration of the complicated geography of families. At once heartfelt and searching, these affecting stories remind us that parental likenesses once shunned can surprise, move, and reconnect us in unexpected ways.”—Andrea Barnet, author of Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World

Table of Contents

Lise Funderburg
Laura van den Berg
Sallie Tisdale
Lies My Parents (Never but Maybe Should’ve) Told Me
Shukree Hassan Tilghman
Better Angels
Clifford Thompson
The Only Light We’ve Got
Angelique Stevens
Household Idols
Avi Steinberg
Just Say the Word
Lizzie Skurnick
All Knotted Up
Dana Prescott
Ann Patchett
One Man’s Poison
Kyoko Mori
Unlived Lives
Laura Miller
A Measure of Perversity
Marc Mewshaw
Off, Off, Off, Off, Off
Daniel Mendelsohn
What We Keep
Donna Masini
My Story about My Mother
Mat Johnson
Never Have Just One Boss
Susan Ito
Spending the Sparkle
Jane Hamilton
Around the Table
Lauren Grodstein
This Truth about Chaos
John Freeman
No Indifferent Place
Carolyn Ferrell
And Niriko Makes Four
Lolis Eric Elie
Fragments from the Long Game
Kate Carroll de Gutes
Self-Made Men
Leland Cheuk
The Nut Doesn’t Fall Far from the Fucking Nut Tree
S. Bear Bergman
The Feeding Gene
Karen Grigsby Bates

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