In "The May Queen: Women on Life,
Love, Work, and Pulling It All Together in Your 30s," editor
Andrea Richesin has culled an eclectic collection of essays by
a diverse array of women about what being "put together"
means after 29 – in 2006.
On Wednesday, Richesin will read from "May Queen,"
along with Brooklynites Ayun Halliday, Ivy Meeropol and Heather
Chaplin, in Cobble Hill.
One common trait among the contributors is their honesty – whether
the topic is their experience with abortion, divorce, stripping
or religion. Many of the authors are writers or performers, so
their approaches to overcoming obstacles and hardships while
juggling family and/or careers can be as inspiring as they are
creative. Many of the two-dozen stories are about how the authors
accepted past mistakes, and mined their newly found wisdom to
craft a rewarding future.
Meeropol writes about why she chose to film a documentary about
her family living with the aftermath of the execution of her
grandparents – Ethel and Julius Rosenberg – while Chaplin’s essay
addresses how her gender enhances – or hinders – her ability
to be a journalist.
But there’s lots of humor to be found here, too, as in this Halliday
excerpt: "Here is a random sampling of some things that
happened [to me] between the ages of 30 and 40, but probably
only because I had children: exposed breasts in public, excrement
in purse, started ’zine, wound up in hospital, wound up in hospital
again, book contract #1, met 90 percent of the people I would
consider friends, lice."
Contributors to "The May Queen: Women on Life, Love, Work,
and Pulling It All Together in Your 30s" (Tarcher/Penguin,
$14.95) will read from their essays at BookCourt (163 Court St.
at Dean Street in Cobble Hill] on April 26 at 8 pm. For more
information, call (718) 875-3677.