The Blue Jay's Dance: A Memoir of Early Motherhood Paperback – Feb 23 2010
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Mothers often cling to single moments, small gestures, and specific memories in order to grasp all that happens in the first blurry year of a baby's life. In The Blue Jay's Dance, writer Louise Erdrich has assembled a photo album of snapshots such as these: the days and images that collectively define the passion, ambivalence, yearnings, and satisfactions of carrying, birthing, and nurturing a baby. "Any sublime effort has its dark moments," says Erdrich, referring to a rather bleak snapshot of mother isolation. "Perhaps, if anything, the meaning in this book for others may be this: Here is a job in which it is not unusual to be, at the same instant, wildly joyous and profoundly stressed." The Blue Jay's Dance is a fresh and masterful book that avoids all the sticky clichés while still managing to articulate the depths of mother-baby love. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Erdrich, who has published poetry and critically acclaimed novels (Love Medicine, The Beet Queen), here describes her experience with giving birth and the joyful year of mothering that follows. The baby whose arrival she chronicles is the youngest of her three daughters but is also a composite of the biological children among the family's six. A keen observer of nature, Erdrich also movingly evokes wild-animal life and the seasonal changes that take place outside the secluded New Hampshire home of Erdrich and her husband, writer Michael Dorris. Although her mystical side is evident in her descriptions of the natural world and in her account of the strong bond she formed with her new baby, she also looks at life with refreshing common sense. She dismisses the "pseudo spiritual advice" that refers to intense labor pain as "discomfort" and admits to occasionally feeling resentment at her baby's screams. Erdrich lightens her prose with several recipes that she and her husband prepare together, as well as a menu for an all-licorice dinner. An enchanting, lyrical rendering of a "mother's vision."
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
What if there was a book that spoke honestly about the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth and, more importantly, treated these experiences as natural events rather than listing all the possible things to be feared? Better yet, what if there was a book that did all those things and spoke of the spiritual aspects of pregnancy and children, in a gentle and non-denominational way? Well, a book with all those features and more is available in this book.
Erdrich is of Native American ancestry and a writer by profession. Her background is rich with symbolism and spiritualism and is wonderful at weaving her story into the passage of seasons.Read more ›
In spare, elegant prose, Erdrich examines the natural, the creative, the powerful, and the sacred qualities distinct to places of rogue human wilderness. Hers is a proactive pregnancy involving baby-shaping by meals and, at one point without plumbing, nightly walks into the field under a skyful of stars, then back to the house for a poetry session. The end effect is a transcendent contextualization of the mundane against a magnificent backdrop of mortal flaw and whimsy of one mother and maker.
The Blue Jay's Dance is wise, enchanting, and, in places, achingly lovely. Overall, a work of rare and beauty, demonstrated resilience and spirit. For anyone who is -- or has -- a mother.
Most recent customer reviews
Fine book, can be read again and again. Would be a great book to give an expecting mother or new mother.Published on April 7 2002 by Margaret Smith
I picked up this book simply because I love Louise Erdrich. I was soon sinking in her poetic verses and touching stories, all laced with a bit of humor and irony. Read morePublished on Dec 8 1999 by Kristina Richards
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