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In My Mother's House (Anniversary) [Paperback]

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Item description for In My Mother's House (Anniversary) by Kim Chernin...

In this twentieth anniversary edition of the feminist classic In My Mother's House, Kim Chernin tells the brave and ultimately triumphant story of Rose Chernin, Russian immigrant and passionate Old Left activist, and her daughter Kim, the narrator of this riveting memoir of conflict, confrontation, and reconciliation among four generations of Chernin women.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   468
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 4.9" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2003
Publisher   MacAdam/Cage
ISBN  193156132X  
ISBN13  9781931561327  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kim Chernin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kim Chernin is a guest instructor at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, where she teaches a course in psychoanalytic models with Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer. She is the author of two books about eros and memory, Crossing the Border  and Sex and other Sacred Games  (with Renee Stendhal); a trilogy of books on hunger, The Obsession, The Hungry Self,   and Reinventing Eve;  a novel, The Flame Bearers;  a memoir, In My Mother's House;  a collection of poetry, The Hunger Song;  a book about psychoanalysis, A Different Kind of Listening;  and a spiritual memoir, In My Father's Garden.  She has studed music on her own since the age of seven, when she first began to play the piano.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Women > Mothers & Children
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Ideologies > Communism & Socialism
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Womens Studies > General

Reviews - What do customers think about In My Mother's House (Anniversary)?

Fascinating personal accounts of controversial history  May 30, 2005
Poet Kim Chernin wrote the memoir "In My Mother's House" because her mother asked her to, and the book began with her mother's proposal. It took seven years for her to finish writing. The book uses a structure of alternative chapters: one in the present time, in a family setting, with the mother starting to tell a story, and the author expressing her emotions toward her mother and the writing experience; the next from her mother's POV, telling a personal story interwoven with a piece of the American Communist history before and during the McCarthy period. The mother's stories hold my interest throughout, as she was so genuinely enthusiastic about being an organizer of Communist activities, even though it meant she had to go to jail and face deportation. When she lived in the Soviet Union during 1932-34 before WWII, she found that country the realization of her idealistic dream and she loved her life there wholeheartedly. Her experience in America during the McCarthy period, on the other hand, illustrates how cruel and unjust a so-called democratic government can become when it operates on belief instead of the constitution. All this is so controversial. I kept wanting to know what the mother would think after Stalin's crimes were exposed later. It turns out the mother was never disillusioned while the daughter eventually was during her own visit to Moscow in the 1970s. It is the personal accounts of a controversial history that fascinates me, while I'm not sure how much the structure of alternative chapters helped. I think the mother's POV helped a lot, as her voice is quite distinctive from the author's and this made the mother's stories more vivid. I found the author's chapters in between her mother's storytelling somewhat uninteresting with the presentation of her own emotions too repetitive, to the point it got boring. Overall, one flaw cannot mar the jade, "In My Mother's House" was a great read.
Please Notice:  Nov 7, 2000
This is Kim Chernin, merely wishing to point out that you list In My Mother's House as highly available, and as at the same time out of print. It isn't out of print. I hope you can correct this. thanks. Kim
Mother and daughter revisit their struggles with communism  Apr 29, 2000
A compelling true story about an altruistic woman's growth as a charismatic communist organizer and the challenges/sacrifices she and her family face as a result of her ideals and activism. Starts with the mother's version of her life, including the exhilarating but few years spent in the Soviet Union shortly after the revolution, and ends with daughter's darker experience in Soviet Union and her struggle to accept her mother while rejecting her ideology.

"In My Mother's House" provides an eye-opening look at a period of history when ordinary people felt like they truly could change the world. Many may find the stark black and white view of communist activity in America they were taught in school no longer rings true.

When the mother and daughter describe their own activities, the reading is effortless. However, when Chernin diverges to comment upon the actual process of storytelling, the reader can become annoyed and bogged down by Chernin's excessive self-absorbed emoting. However, this is a tiny part of the book and can be easily skimmed over.

Rose's story is very inspirational. Many will be motivated to look at their own lives and activities and ponder how they can be of more service. Rose Chernin was a tiny woman, but fueled by her strong dedication to justice and fairness, she was able to inspire other idealistic people to change discriminatory laws and create numerous needed community organizations, such as daycare for working women.

This is a book about idealism, finding a purpose in life, mothers and daughers, feminism, communism, unions, American history, and much more. A good read for active minds.

Extraordinary Portrayal  Apr 28, 2000
Kim Chernin offers a heart-felt portrayal of matriarchial family history, using both her mother's unique voice and her own. Eloquantly and honestly written, Chernin sits the reader at her mother's (Rose Chernin) feet to experience first-hand the stories told in her mother's house. Born in Russia in the early 1900's, Rose speaks through Kim simply, with exquisit detail about life in the Russian Pale of Settlement, her families move to New York and her alliance with the communist party. If for no other reason, this book is worth reading purely for the portrayal of Rose's voice.

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