"Bravo to Faulkner Fox for tackling head-on the major issues facing women today. Intellectually rigorous and emotionally honest, this book should be required reading. Faulkner Fox is a wonderful writer. I found Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life to be loving, disturbing, hilarious and deeply meaningful."
--Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
"I've perused plenty of [parenting books], looking for help in raising my own children, but I can't think of one book as entertaining or refreshingly honest as Faulkner Fox's Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life."
--Naomi Rand, The Boston Globe
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"Fox is a biting and honest writer."
--The Washington Post
"Fox's personal primer on balancing child care and career is a laugh-out-loud take on everything from spousal spats over housework to the damaging effects of sleep deprivation. In this fiercely honest book, Fox answers the bewildering question that all mothers ask themselves: 'Am I crazy, or is it everyone else?'"
--Working Mother Magazine, Must Read Column, December/January 2004
"A brave work by a woman who's a familiar type: educated, married, a new mother, trying to understand where the life she thought she was signing up for went and what to do with the life she is leading. I felt as I read the book that I had lived exactly what the author was living but had been too tired and overwhelmed to put it into coherent thoughts."
--Liz White for ELLE Magazine
"Faulkner Fox is my new best friend...As a result of her journey through new motherhood, she wrote this brilliant book about what some of us feel, why we feel it, and how we can move past those feelings. This book is about real life that for some reason people are so afraid to talk about...Faulkner Fox has penned not only a provocative, flawlessly written book, but an important one."
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"...Fox's motherhood memoir is beautifully written with great
intelligence, humor and irreverence."
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"Wit and wisdom are in abundance in Dispatches...perhaps the greatest value of these candid 'dispatches' is in simply articulating the truths about domestic life...as valuable as it is entertaining."
--Body and Soul Magazine
"Fox is daring and refreshingly honest when she questions what it means to be a good mother and whether a woman must give up herself in order to be considered a successful parent."
--The New Orleans Times Picayune
"A poignant memoir of motherhood in the new millennium."
--The Ft. Myers News Press
"I devoured this book. Passionate, angry, honest and intelligent, the
antidote to What to Expect When You're Expecting, it's one every pregnant
or planning-to-be-pregnant woman with a modicum of ambition would do well to read."
--Cathi Hanauer, editor of The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth about Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood and Marriage
"...The issues [Fox] raises are of vital concern to high-achieving women, and she addresses them with passion and thoughtfulness."
--The Radcliffe Quarterly
"Funny, human, and complicated--a bold new book on motherhood, feminism and the survival of the self raises the bar for popular Mother Lit. Dispatches is a deliberate and thoughtful record of the growth and development of a woman who is also a writer, wife and mother--a woman who refuses to allow her selfhood to wither like a neglected houseplant just because she's completely in love with her husband and children...A highly original, genuinely funny, sometimes outrageous and sometimes profoundly moving book, Dispatches also has an agenda. Fox wields her sharply-pointed wit so artfully the reader may not always be aware that her objective is to poke enough holes in the one-dimensional caricature of the selfless, stressed-out mom to free the warm-blooded woman who lives inside. Upstart mothers who yearn to tip over the sacred cow of motherhood--and all other mothers, for that matter--owe it to themselves to read this book."
--Judith Stadtman Tucker, the Mothers Movement Online
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"What a gift. This book shines a much-needed light into the despair of new
motherhood--and the guilt that comes with it. "I have so much," we cry.
"What right do I have to feel bad?" But the heartbreak of motherhood is
real. From the hormonal imbalances to the social isolation to the cultural
pressures to be a Perfect Mom, Faulkner Fox hunts down the causes of our
maternal blues--and brilliantly searches out the ultimate cure."
--Ariel Gore, author of The Mother Trip and The Hip Mama Survival Guide
"A young feminist pulls no punches in her examination of motherhood. Fox candidly reveals her ambivalence, frustrations, and anger about the stresses imposed on women when they have children. Although she interviewed other young mothers, looking for confirmation that they shared her feelings, her personal story holds center stage here. (Indeed, Fox found many interviewees reluctant to admit their frustrations with maternity.) Her youthful vision of an uncluttered, stress-free life with a house, a man, and a child, she admits, was a fantasy. The reality, she learns, is that it's not easy to combine selfhood with motherhood, to balance a writing career with childcare, or to achieve egalitarian parenthood. To explain to the reader where she's coming from, Fox shows herself as a single woman: ambitious, edgy, fighting for liberal causes, looking to find a feminist prince. Once married to her prince, she discovers that pregnancy changes everything. Issues of control are real: How does one choose to be in control of birth and at the same time choose to avoid excruciating pain?...As a nursing mother, Fox finds that her husband's parenting duties and hers are clearly out of balance. Keeping a record of time spent on a chart called "Frequent Parenting Miles," she tallies in quarter hours what she figures her spouse owes her. Collect she does, and in the process conducts a mild flirtation that leads the couple into therapy and eventually into a more equitable partnership. Fox also explores her attempts to connect with other women, a task she finds far more difficult once husbands and children are part of all their lives. Her very honest account exudes relief at the chance to express her feelings and a measure of pride that she has faced some of motherhood's inherent conflicts, if not entirely resolved them.
Unconventional, challenging, even warm and funny."
"In this frank and often amusing memoir...Fox ponders the oppressive and redemptive nature of housekeeping and child rearing and the never-ending selflessness required of mothers. Women of various political perspectives will appreciate this honest look at the rigors of motherhood."
"Throughly enjoy[able] because of the unbridled honesty behind Fox's words and thoughts. We get an inside look at the fears, doubts, guilt, anxieties, complexities and compromises commonly made in the life of a married mother."
--Austin FIT Magazine
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"Dispatches is a hard-hitting book indeed. Its sharp critiques are
well-blended with humor, though, to make an enjoyable read...refreshing and
disturbing all at the same time; it's what so many have felt and lived but
have been either too tired or too scared to discuss.... Dispatches is truly
unlike any other book on motherhood. By acknowledging the unnecessary
things that put pressure on women, particularly mothers, Fox sparks the
desire to correct them. She reminds mothers that they can embrace their
individuality, and still care for and love their child unconditionally.
Through her own enlightenment about motherhood and domesticity, she offers
a channel for mothers to relinquish their guilt."
--The Tidewater Review (VA)