The Anti-Romantic Child: A Memoir of Unexpected Joy (Paperback)
Priscilla Gilman, a teacher of romantic poetry who embraced Wordsworth's vision of childhood's spontaneous wonder, eagerly anticipated the birth of her first child, certain that he would come "trailing clouds of glory." But as Benjamin grew, his remarkable precocity was associated with a developmental disorder that would dramatically alter the course of Priscilla's dreams.
In The Anti-Romantic Child, a memoir full of lyricism and light, Gilman explores our hopes and expectations for our children, our families, and ourselves and the ways in which experience may lead us to re-imagine them. Using literature as a touchstone, Gilman reveals her journey through crisis to joy, illuminating the flourishing of life that occurs when we embrace the unexpected. The Anti-Romantic Child is a profoundly moving and compellingly universal book about family, parenthood, and love.
The Anti-Romantic Child, Gilman's first book, was excerpted in Newsweek magazine and featured on the cover of its international edition in April 2011. It was an NPR Morning Edition Must-Read, Slate's Book of the Week, selected as one the Best Books of 2011 by the Leonard Lopate Show, and chosen as a Best Book of 2011 by The Chicago Tribune. The Anti-Romantic Child was one of five nominees for a Books for a Better Life Award for Best First Book.
“Smart, soulful, and involving.”
-Nick Hornby, The Believer
“Rapturously beautiful and deeply moving, profound and marvelous.”
-Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
“The Anti-Romantic Child is beautiful, poetic, and heartfelt. It’s more than a mother–child story; it’s a journey of self-discovery. It’s a book every parent should read.”
-Kathryn Erskine, bestselling author of Mockingbird and winner of the 2010 National Book Award
“Priscilla Gilman’s lyrical narrative is profoundly moving and ultimately joyous. It eloquently touches the universal.”
“What a glorious book Priscilla Gilman has written. Lively, eloquent, straightforward, and insightful, The Anti-Romantic Child deftly delineates and negotiates the complex cross-currents of a life of the mind and a life of the heart.”
-Sandra Boynton, children's book author and illustrator
“Every parent should read this luminous book to absorb or absorb again the truth that every child is a surprise—a revelation—to be uniquely learned and understood as well as loved.”
-Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Composing A Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
“Unforgettable. . . . I couldn’t put this book down.”
-Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project
“This is a fascinating, tender, illuminating book about an extraordinary boy and his equally extraordinary mother. A wonderful read.”
-Martha Beck, author of Expecting Adam and columnist for O magazine
“A book for all parents. . . . [Gilman’s] poignant story of reconciling fantasy with reality is a universal story of parental growth. A story to inspire us all.”
-Ellen Galinsky, the Huffington Post
“A fantastic memoir. . . . I loved this book.”
-KJ Dell'Antonia, lead blogger for the New York Times Motherlode