If anyone out there managed to finish Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, please tell me how you did it. I can't get past the first hundred pages, which is odd because I adored Motherless Brooklyn and Gun, with Occasional Music and As She Climbed Across the Table. Fortress, tho, is just boring the pants off of me. How is it the pinnacle of modern literature, as its (paraphrased) back-jacket romance copy asserts?
I mean, June Cleaver was not expected to drill the Beaver with algebra flashcards when he was 6 months old. June Cleaver was not expected to drive 10 hours round trip to a soccer match. June Cleaver wasn't expected to home-school and, by the way, look sexy the whole time doing it. So even June Cleaver couldn't meet these standards today, which are absolutely through the roof. So it's actually different from the '50s: It's more intense.
From The Mommy Myth, which Salon, MSN and others have been talking about. It's about damn time we started talking about the "new momism," where every mother should be fulfilled by nothing but nurturing the offspring and pleasing (in all sorts of ways) her mate--and if she isn't led to utter bliss by this, clearly she is somehow defective. Authors Douglas and Michaels tap into the swelling underground of disaffected moms who keep being told to be quiet and make tofu snacks for Junior's Montessori class. It is just as potent as The Bitch in the House--but 30 times funnier and smarter. A balm for this mom who has been accused of being too mouthy on more than one occasion and a spark for a much-needed public debate during these cloyingly conservative times.