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1 Burnside American Studies- Families

Growing Up Fast

by

Growing Up Fast Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Poor people, poor mothers and their children, their men-folk and fathers, want lives different than those they have been dealt. It is hard to imagine an American politics that will help them get it. Give this book for Christmas. It will burden the conscience of its readers." Martin Peretz, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Growing Up Fast Joanna Lipper tells the life stories of Amy, Shayla, Jessica, Colleen, Liz, and Sheri--six teen mothers whom she first met in l999 when they were all enrolled at the Teen Parent Program in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Making a short documentary film was only the beginning of an extraordinary journey that continued for four years as Lipper videotaped and interviewed the girls, their families, and the fathers of their babies. This raw material was the basis for Growing Up Fast, which in the words of Naomi Wolf, reads like a nineteenth-century novel about young women burdened by fates they did not choose.

Less than a decade older than these teen parents, Joanna Lipper was able to blend into the fabric of their lives. She earned their trust as they shared with her the daily reality of their lives and their experiences growing up in the economically depressed post-industrial landscape of Pittsfield. Often masked by statistics, demonized by the media, and stereotyped by people of all political persuasions, the voices and stories of these teen parents reveal the complex, disturbing, and often painful reality behind a vast array of social issues including welfare reform, low wages, drugs, domestic and dating violence, the prevalence of child abuse, and the role of education.

In the tradition of The Corner and Studs Terkel's Working, Growing Up Fast is a landmark work of empathy that will speak powerfully to parents, teachers, social workers, policy-makers, doctors, psychologists, policemen, lawyers, and teenagers.

Joanna Lipper graduated from Harvard. She holds an M.Sc. in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from University College London and the Anna Freud Centre. For her first documentary, Inside Out: Portraits of Children, she received the Hollywood Discovery Award. Her second documentary, Growing Up Fast, was distinguished by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the outstanding short documentaries of 1999. Joanna Lipper currently lives in New York City, where she runs Ruby Slipper Productions. Growing Up Fast is her first book. Visit the author and photo galleries featuring the subjects of her book at www.growingupfast.com.

Growing Up Fast tells the life stories of Amy, Liz, Collen, Shayla, Sheri, and Jessica--six teen mothers whom Joanna Lipper first met in 1999 when they were all enrolled in the Teen Parent Program in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Making a short documentary film was only the beginning of an extraordinary journey that continued for four years as Lipper videotaped and interviewed the girls, their families, and the fathers of their babies. This raw material was the basis for Growing Up Fast, which, in the words of Naomi Wolf, reads like a nineteenth-century novel describing young women burdened by fates they did not choose.

Less than a decade older than these teen parents, Joanne Lipper was able to blend into the fabric of their lives. She earned their trust as they shared with her the daily reality of their lives and their experiences of growing up in the economically depressed postindustrial landscape of Pittsfield.

What Growing Up Fast makes] perfectly clear is that becoming a teen mother poses an enormous challenge, even for the most determined. The book should be mandatory reading in middle school, for as the young mothers profiled in these pages] explain, had they known what they were getting into, they never would have walked this path.--Katherine S. Newman, The Washington Post

Lipper, an accomplished documentary filmmaker, takes a close look at the desolate landscape of family life in Pittsfield, Mass., once 'inextricably intertwined' with General Electric, now an economic wasteland with few decent jobs to offer. She zeros in on the lives of six teenage mothers, some single, some divorced, and some temporarily 'hooked up' with unreliable or unsavory men, the teen fathers of their babies or the next boyfriend in line. The narrative focuses on their lives as daughters in families that range from the solid to the dysfunctional; these are teenagers who crave attention and thrills, and those desires get them into trouble that lasts a lifetime . . . Lipper's portrait of each of these teenage mothers is sympathetic but clear-eyed. Their stories unfold slowly and patiently, confronting the reader with a litany of violent relationships, desperate desires for affection and social status, and romantic longings that lead almost inexorably to out-of-wedlock motherhood. In an economy in which only the well-educated will garner jobs good enough to support a family, Lipper's young moms have practically no chance to overcome their early mistakes . . . Readers looking for a slice of life in deindustrializing America will find much to admire about this book . . . What Growing Up Fast makes] perfectly clear is that becoming a teen mother poses an enormous challenge, even for the most determined. The book should be mandatory reading in middle school, for as the young mothers themselves explain, had they known what they were getting into, they never would have walked this path.--Katherine S. Newman, The Washington Post

A searing, heart-rending account . . . In their own words, the girls describe home lives from hell, full of drug addiction and physical and sexual abuse, presided over by parents who are, with rare exceptions, hopelessly unfit. The girls' lives are often said to be 'empty, ' and they are: of positive interests or role models. But they are full of violence and hypersexualized media that make teen motherhood look to them more like a solution than the difficult challenge it inevitably is. 'I wanted a baby so I'd have a friend 24 hours a day, ' one mother told Lipper . . . A strong argument for better state funding of teen pregnancy prevention programs that have seen cuts in recent state budgets. Somebody--an art teacher, a basketball coach, a pastor, a therapist--has t

Synopsis:

Growing Up Fast tells the life stories of Shayla, Jessica, Amy, Colleen, Liz, and Sheri--six teen mothers whom Joanna Lipper first met in 1999 when they were enrolled at the Teen Parent Program in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Less than a decade older than these teen parents, she was able to blend into the fabric of their lives and make a short documentary film about them. Over the course of the next four years she continued to earn their trust as they shared with her the daily reality of their lives and their experiences growing up in the economically depressed post-industrial landscape of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 405-417).

About the Author

Joanna Lipper holds an M.Sc in psychoanalytic developmental psychology. For her first documentary, Inside Out: Portraits of Children, she received the Hollywood Discovery Award. Her second documentary, Growing Up Fast, was distinguished as one of the outstanding short documentaries of 1999 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and

Sciences. Joanna lives in New York City, where she runs Ruby Slipper Productions. Growing Up Fast is her first book.

Table of Contents

Pittsfield — Amy & Bernard — Liz & Peter — Colleen — Shayla & C.J. — Sheri — Jessica — Community.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312422226
Author:
Lipper, Joanna
Publisher:
Picador
Location:
New York
Subject:
Motherhood
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
Teenage mothers
Subject:
Pittsfield
Subject:
Parenting - General
Subject:
Teenage mothers - Massachusetts -
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
no. 808
Publication Date:
20041101
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 34 black-and-white photographs
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.961 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family

Growing Up Fast Used Hardcover
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Product details 432 pages Picador USA - English 9780312422226 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Poor people, poor mothers and their children, their men-folk and fathers, want lives different than those they have been dealt. It is hard to imagine an American politics that will help them get it. Give this book for Christmas. It will burden the conscience of its readers." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Synopsis" by ,
Growing Up Fast tells the life stories of Shayla, Jessica, Amy, Colleen, Liz, and Sheri--six teen mothers whom Joanna Lipper first met in 1999 when they were enrolled at the Teen Parent Program in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Less than a decade older than these teen parents, she was able to blend into the fabric of their lives and make a short documentary film about them. Over the course of the next four years she continued to earn their trust as they shared with her the daily reality of their lives and their experiences growing up in the economically depressed post-industrial landscape of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 405-417).
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