The Big Rumpus: A Mother's Tale from the Trenches (Live Girls)
Twenty years ago a woman named Erma Bombeck brought the suburban family out of the closetdust bunnies and all. Her honest, hilarious accounts of family life, where the grass is always greener over the septic tank,” became more than mere books; they became a philosophy. Ayun Halliday is a new... show more
Twenty years ago a woman named Erma Bombeck brought the suburban family out of the closetdust bunnies and all. Her honest, hilarious accounts of family life, where the grass is always greener over the septic tank,” became more than mere books; they became a philosophy. Ayun Halliday is a new generation’s urban Bombeck. Creator of the wildly popular parenting zine The East Village Inky, Halliday’s words and line drawings describe the quirks and everyday travails of a young urban family, warts and all. Honest in her parenting foibles and fixed in her opinions on public breast-feeding and the perfect Halloween costume, Halliday’s wry observations on daily life validate the complex, absurd wondrousness that is the life of the unpaid caregiver. Reflecting on her daughter’s third thumb, declawing the cat, and debating her son’s circumcision, she writes: My family has a highly complex relationship to amputation.” On appropriate knowledge for children: All Inky wants to talk about is the murder of John Lennon. I think it’s my fault.” On lice: Head lice were outed on the children’s program Arthur this year in an effort to de-stigmatize the problem. I guess I’m glad that lice have hit the mainstream, though what’s next for Arthur and his pals? Heroin addiction?” On family holidays: Danged if it isn’t trueyou really cannot recreate the Christmases of your childhood. I can’t even recreate the Christmases of my teens.” It is in the details that The Big Rumpus will delight. Halliday manages to capture a voice that so many of today’s parents hear in their own heads, in a way that is absolutely unique yet familiar. The Big Rumpus marks the debut of a major new talent who has formulated a whole new set of operating instructions” for today’s families.
Publish date: 2002-03-19
Publisher: Seal Press
Pages no: 288
Edition language: English
I've long been a fan of The East Village Inky and was happy to stumble across Halliday's memoir. Her voice is an original and hilarious one, straight from the underbelly of motherhood. Rings true, and brings back both the horrors and the delights of those early, fugue-like days.