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She makes everything ready for all family members in the morning before they wake up.
Cathi Hanauer—herself an editor of a collection of essays, the New York Times best-selling describes the domineering behavior of her father.
She recalls how he refused to allow Hanauer to speak to her mother alone on the phone, how he would answer for her mother even when Hanauer asked a question he couldn’t answer about something like pregnancy or her mother’s blueberry tart recipe, and if he didn’t have anything to say he would react loudly to whatever was on TV until they included him again.
It first appeared on Longreads in 2017 and produced a torrent of responses from readers, many of whom shared their own stories.
Filgate (who's also a book critic with whom I have a professional acquaintance) says it took her more than a decade to write the essay, and its subject matter makes clear why.
His inability to see this before she died clouded their relationship, leaving Taylor to wish now that he had gotten to know her better, wish he “had tried harder.
Sooner.”Novelist and essayist Leslie Jamison also speaks to this idea in her essay, “I Met Fear on the Hill,” which closes the book.
In October 2017, Michele Filgate published an essay on Longreads entitled “What My Mother And I Don’t Talk About.” Years in the writing, the piece discussed the abuse that Filgate suffered at the hands of her stepfather and how her mother’s silence protected him, ultimately leading to the breakdown of the relationship between the two women.
The response to her work was the definition of viral, being shared on social platforms by the likes of Rebecca Solnit, Lidia Yuknavitch and many others.
“It allowed me to see that both she and I have always been more complicated than the binaries I’ve constructed for us to inhabit, in which we are either identical or opposite,” Jamison writes.
“We get so used to the stories we tell about ourselves.