Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers

Kathryn Kysar, editor

Riding Shotgun stands out from the overly sentimental books that show up every spring (like mayflies, but slightly more long-lived), because it is a collection of memoirs and creative nonfiction that’s worth reading, even if one’s maternal relationship is slightly problematic. Adoptee Sun-Yung Shin writes of sorting out questions of race, nationality and labor; Susan Kelly tells of her mother’s loss of Native American identity; Tai Coleman writes of boundaries sternly enforced in “Grown Folks’ Business.” These are memories of working mothers, mothers who face down difficulties and raise strong daughters, whether they intended to do so or not. Crossing ethnic and regional boundaries, the women in these stories are recognizable. We work beside them, live next door, sometimes call them “Mom.”