A Reading and Conversation
Wednesday May 27, 2015 at 3:00
In Make Me a Mother, acclaimed memoirist Susanne Antonetta adopts an infant from Seoul, South Korea. After meeting their six-month-old son, Jin, at the airport—an incident made memorable when Susanne, so eager to meet her son, is chased down by security—Susanne and her husband learn lessons common to all parents, such as the lack of sleep and the worry and joy of loving a child. They also learn lessons particular to their own family: not just how another being can take over your life but how to let an entire culture in, how to discuss birth parents who gave up a child, and the tricky steps required to navigate race in America.
Susanne Antonetta (Suzanne Paola)’s most recent book is Make Me a Mother, a memoir and study of adoption. Awards for her poetry and prose include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science book of the year, a Lenore Marshall Award finalist, a Pushcart prize, and others. She is also coauthor of Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction. She has published several prize-winning collections of poems, including Bardo, Petitioner, Glass, and The Lives of The Saints. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Orion, Seneca Review and many anthologies, including Short Takes and Lyric Postmodernisms. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her husband and son.
Paola was raised among the New Jersey Pine Barrens, which she later used as the setting for Body Toxic, in one of the most contaminated counties in the United States. Paola’s memoir merges her personal and familial sagas with historical accounts, politics, and environmentalism.