Memoir author speaks the same language as biological mothers, "but in a different dialect."

Each day leading up to the April 16 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature 2011 Memoir & Creative Nonfiction finalist:

She Looks Just Like You: A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood
Amie Klempnauer Miller
Beacon Press
 

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An excerpt from an interview with Amie Klempnauer Miller:

“I had tried to get pregnant, but, in the end, it was my partner who carried the baby, and I found myself going, “Wow, so what’s my role here?” I was planning on taking maternity leave, but I wasn’t pregnant. I was there for the conception, and I was there for the ultrasound but I wasn’t going to get to do these things, like childbirth, that are so paradigmatic of what it means to be a mother.

The parents I ended up relating to the most were stay-at-home dads because they are bending the genre categories themselves. It’s interesting that some of the criticisms that have been made toward stay-at-home dads are not that different from the criticisms of gay and lesbian families. Is it natural? Will the kids turn out OK?”

As a Midwestern, station wagon-driving, stay-at-home mom – and as a nonbiological lesbian mother – Miller both defines and defies the norm. Part love story, part comedy, part quest, Miller’s candid and often humorous memoir is a cultural roadmap to what it means to become a parent.

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Amie Klempnauer Miller works as a development consultant to the public media industry and lives with her partner and daughter in Saint Paul.

Reviews:

“She Looks Just Like You tenderly explores motherhood with brutal honesty, love, and openness. Although Klempnauer Miller’s version of family might look different from the outside, she finds the universal truths of parenthood.” – Minnesota Book Awards Preliminary Judge

“One of the greatest celebrations of true family values you will ever read. Funny, warm, and wide-open honest.” – Ariel Gore, founding editor of Hip Mama

“Miller’s vivid storytelling as the ‘unpregnant’ partner simultaneously captures the unique challenges of lesbian motherhood in the twenty-first century and emphasizes the undeniable universality of first-time parenthood. – Abigail Garner, author of Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is

“Why would a straight dad like me love this memoir so much? Mainly because it’s superbly written and passionately insightful. But also because I discovered that lesbian moms like Amie have something to teach me, and all of us, about how to survive, and perhaps even thrive, as twenty-first-century parents.” – Jeremy Adam Smith, author of The Daddy Shift

Seet “6 Questions We Always Ask” – Mnnesota Reads’ Jodi Chromey recently interviewed Klempnauer-Miller

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Award winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.

Each year in the weeks leading up to the Minnesota Book Awards gala, all Minnesotans are invited to take part in voting for the Readers’ Choice Award. Vote online now through the end of March at TwinCities.com. Please, only one vote per person.

Have you read She Looks Just Like You? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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