Synopses & Reviews
Twenty years ago a woman named Erma Bombeck brought the suburban family out of the closetand#151;dust bunnies and all. Her honest, hilarious accounts of family life, where the and#147;grass is always greener over the septic tank,and#8221; became more than mere books; they became a philosophy. Ayun Halliday is a new generationand#8217;s urban Bombeck. Creator of the wildly popular parenting zine The East Village Inky, Hallidayand#8217;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, Hallidayand#8217;s wry observations on daily life validate the complex, absurd wondrousness that is the life of the unpaid caregiver. Reflecting on her daughterand#8217;s third thumb, declawing the cat, and debating her sonand#8217;s circumcision, she writes: and#147;My family has a highly complex relationship to amputation.and#8221; On appropriate knowledge for children: and#147;All Inky wants to talk about is the murder of John Lennon. I think itand#8217;s my fault.and#8221; On lice: and#147;Head lice were outed on the childrenand#8217;s program Arthur this year in an effort to de-stigmatize the problem. I guess Iand#8217;m glad that lice have hit the mainstream, though whatand#8217;s next for Arthur and his pals? Heroin addiction?and#8221; On family holidays: and#147;Danged if it isnand#8217;t trueand#151;you really cannot recreate the Christmases of your childhood. I canand#8217;t even recreate the Christmases of my teens.and#8221; It is in the details that The Big Rumpus will delight. Halliday manages to capture a voice that so many of todayand#8217;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 and#147;operating instructionsand#8221; for todayand#8217;s families.
"The Big Rumpus is positively the best mothering memoir I've read by a straight-tawkin', breast-feeding, xenophilic, world-traveling, Indiana-reared, New York City transplant. I stayed up past my bedtime reading it, no lie. The gal can write." Chris Dodge, Utne Reader
"Funny, surprisingly well-written chronicle of a young bohemian family living in New York City. Perfect for stay-at-home moms who believe in natural birth and granola." Time
"[A] breezy memoir of motherhood that for all its hip attitude also affectingly recalls traditional fears, joys, and a sense of the miraculous....She also movingly acknowledges her infatuation with her chubby baby....Motherhood recalled with engaging brio and considerable wisdom." Kirkus Reviews
"[Halliday's] strong narrative voice evokes the power and demands of her life and the city in which she lives. Essential reading for all urban mothers." Library Journal
"Her irreverent, sarcastic and occasionally scatological style...will remind you of a phone conversation with your best friend." New York
"[I]t's Halliday's unconventional outlook and occasionally harsh honesty that make The Big Rumpus more than an ode to motherhood." Baltimore City Paper
The creator of the popular parenting magazine "The East Village Inky" presents a new set of ground rules for today's young parents, describing the delights, quirks, and tedium of parenthood. Illustrations.
Twenty years ago a woman named Erma Bombeck brought the suburban family out of the closet dust 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.
Meet Ayun Halliday, a new generation's urban Erma Bombeck. Creator of the underground parenting magazine The East Village Inky, Halliday's wry observations on daily life validate the complex, absurd wondrousness of being the unpaid caregiver of small children.
- Reflecting on her daughter's third thumb, de-clawing the cat and debating her son's circumcision: "My family has a highly complex relationship to amputation."
- On family holidays: "Danged if it isn't true you really cannot recreate the Christmases of your childhood. I can't even recreate the Christmases of my teens."
- 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, thought what's next for Arthur and his pals? Heroin addiction?"
An uproarious celebration of the minutiae that is life with children, The Big Rumpus
chronicles the stranger-than-fiction, real-life-existence of one American family.
Creator of the 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.
About the Author
Ayun Halliday is the twisted lactating genius behind The East Village Inky, a quarterly zine about life with small children in New York. Her work has been published in Hip Mama, Bust, Oxygen's Moms Online site, Breeder: Real Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers, The Unsavvy Traveler: Women's Comic Tales of Catastrophe, A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe, and various other parenting and humor publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.