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Books  >>  Biography

Priscilla Gilman

The Anti-Romantic Child

Priscilla Gilman The Anti Romantic Child A Story Of Unexpected Joy
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Main description:

Priscilla Gilman had the greatest expectations for the birth of her first child. Growing up in New York among writers and artists, Gilman experienced childhood as a whirlwind of imagination and creative play. Later, as a student and scholar of Wordsworth, she embraced the poet's romantic view of children—and eagerly anticipated her son's birth, certain that he, too, would come "trailing clouds of glory." But her romantic vision would not be fulfilled in the ways she dreamed. Though Benjamin was an extraordinary child, the signs of his remarkable precocity were also manifestations of a developmental disorder that would require intensive therapies and special schooling, and would dramatically alter the course Priscilla had imagined for her family.

In The Anti-Romantic Child, a memoir full of lyricism and light, Gilman explores the complexity of our hopes for our children, our families, and ourselves, and the ways in which experience can lead us to reimagine those hopes and expectations. Using Wordsworth's poetry as a touchstone, she speaks intimately of her poignant journey through crisis and disenchantment to a place of peace and resilience. Gilman illuminates the flourishing of life that occurs when we embrace the unexpected, and shows how events and situations often perceived as setbacks can actually enrich us. The Anti-Romantic Child is a courageous and inspiring synthesis of memoir and literature, one that resonates long after you finish the last page.

The Anti-Romantic Child, Gilman's first book, was excerpted in Newsweek magazine and featured on the cover of its international edition in April 2011. It was an NPR Morning Edition Must-Read, Slate's Book of the Week, selected as one the Best Books of 2011 by the Leonard Lopate Show, and chosen as a Best Book of 2011 by The Chicago Tribune. The Anti-Romantic Child was one of five nominees for a Books for a Better Life Award for Best First Book.

Review quote:

The Anti-Romantic Child is beautiful, poetic, and heartfelt. It’s more than a mother–child story; it’s a journey of self-discovery. It’s a book every parent should read.”

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“A book for all parents. . . . [Gilman’s] poignant story of reconciling fantasy with reality is a universal story of parental growth. A story to inspire us all.”

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“A fantastic memoir. . . . I loved this book.”

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“Every parent should read this luminous book to absorb or absorb again the truth that every child is a surprise—a revelation—to be uniquely learned and understood as well as loved.”

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“Priscilla Gilman’s lyrical narrative is profoundly moving and ultimately joyous. It eloquently touches the universal.”

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“Rapturously beautiful and deeply moving, profound and marvelous.”

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“Smart, soulful, and involving.”

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“This is a fascinating, tender, illuminating book about an extraordinary boy and his equally extraordinary mother. A wonderful read.”

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“Unforgettable. . . . I couldn’t put this book down.”

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“What a glorious book Priscilla Gilman has written. Lively, eloquent, straightforward, and insightful, The Anti-Romantic Child deftly delineates and negotiates the complex cross-currents of a life of the mind and a life of the heart.”

Short description/annotation:

TheAnti-Romantic Child is remarkable. This haunting and lyrical memoir will bean invaluable and heartening guide to all who find themselves in similarsituations and indeed anyone confronting an unforeseen challenge.” —MarieBrenner, writer for Vanity Fair andauthor of Apples and Oranges
 
With an emotionally resonant combination of memoirand literature, Wordsworth scholar Priscilla Gilman recounts the challenges ofraising a son with hyperlexia, a developmentaldisorder neurologically counterpoint to dyslexia. Gilman explores thecomplexities of our hopes and expectations for our children and ourselves. Withluminous prose and a searing, personal story evocative of A Year of MagicalThinking and A Year of Reading Proust, Gilman’s The Anti-RomanticChild is an unforgettable exploration of what happens when we lean toembrace the unexpected.  


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