Apple, Tree

Apple, Tree

Writers on Their Parents

Edited and with an introduction by Lise Funderburg

232 pages
2 photographs

Hardcover

September 2019

978-1-4962-1209-2

$24.95 Pre-order

About the Book

It happens to us all: we think we’ve settled into an identity, a self, and then out of nowhere and with great force, the traces of our parents appear to us, in us—in mirrors, in gestures, in reaction and reactivity, at weddings and funerals, and in troubled thoughts that crouch in dark corners of our minds.

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.
 

Praise

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

Introduction
Lise Funderburg
Predictions
Laura van den Berg
Curtains
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
Sisters
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
Acknowledgments
Contributors

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