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.