Edited by bestselling author Rebecca Walker, this anthology invites us to step into the center of a range of different domestic arrangements and take a good look around. From gay adoption to absentee fathers, from open marriages to green-card marriages, the reality of the American household has altered dramatically over the last three decades. With changing values and expectations, fluid gender roles, and a shifting economy, along with increase in infertility, adoption, and the incidence of mixed-race couples, people across the country are redefining the standard arrangement of family life. In a collection of eighteen honest, personal, and deeply affecting essays from an array of writers, One Big Happy Family offers a fresh look at how contemporary families are adapting to this altering reality.
Each writing from the perspective of his or her own unique domestic arrangements and priorities, the authors of these essays explore topics like transracial adoption, bicultural marriage and children, cohousing, equal parenting, and the creation of virtual families. Dan Savage writes about the unexpected responsibilities of open adoption. Jenny Block tells of the pros and cons of her own open marriage. ZZ Packer explores the ramifications of, and her own self-consciousness about, having a mixed-race child. asha bandele writes of her decision to have a child with a man in prison for life. And Min Jin Lee points to the intimacy shared by a mother and her child’s hired caregiver.
All of these pieces smartly discuss the various cultural pressures, issues, and realities for families today, in a manner that is inviting and accessible—sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, sometimes shocking, but always fascinating.
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