Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo
Deborah Siegel, Daphne Uviller
Harmony Books, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
Only children don’t have to share bedrooms, toys, or the backseat of a car. They don’t have to share allowances, inheritances, or their parents’ attention. But when they get into trouble, they can’t just blame their imaginary friends. InOnly Child, twenty-one acclaimed writers tell the truth about life without siblings—the bliss of solitude, the ache of loneliness, and everything in between.
In this unprecedented collection, writers like Judith Thurman, Kathryn Harrison, John Hodgman, and Peter Ho Davies reflect on the single, transforming episode that defined each of them as an only child. For some it came while lurking around the edges of a friend’s boisterous family, longing to be part of the chaos. For others, it came in sterile hospital halls, while single-handedly caring for a parent with cancer. They write about the parents who raised them, from the devoted to the dismissive. They describe what it’s like to be an only child of divorce, an only because of the death of a sibling, an only who reveled in it or an only who didn’t.
In candid, poignant, and often hilarious essays, these authors—including the children of Erica Jong, Alice Walker, and Phyllis Rose—explore a lifetime of onliness. As adults searching for partners, they are faced with the unique challenge of trying to turn a longtime trio into a quartet. In deciding whether to give junior a sib, they weigh the benefits of producing the friend they never had against the fear that they will not know how to divide their love and attention among multiples. As they watch their parents age, they come face-to-face with the onus of being their family’s sole historian.
Whether you’re an only child curious about how your experiences compare to others’, the partner or spouse of an only, a parent pondering whether to stop at one, or someone with siblings who’s always wondered how the other half lives,Only Childoffers a look behind the scenes and into the hearts of twenty-one smart and sensitive writers as they reveal the truth about growing up—and being a grown-up—solo.
What people are saying - Write a review
Only child: writers on the singular joys and solitary sorrows of growing up soloUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Kathryn Harris (The Kiss), John Hodgman (The Areas of My Expertise) and the New Yorker's Janice Thurman (Isak Dinesen) are just three of the noteworthy writers who contributed to this collection of ... Read full review
Party of One
Postcards to Myself
9 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
adults Alger Hiss Alissa Quart apartment army-navy store asked bedroom boyfriend brother Central Park Zoo child childhood Chinese baby Christmas Clare cousins daughter David dinner door Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn eyes father feel felt friends girl grandmother hand happened happy Hodgmina Howard Fast husband imagine John Hodgman Kathryn Harrison kids kind kitchen knew later Laurie learned living room looked Magritte Mam and Pad marriage married memories Mom's mother never night Okay older parents Penn & Teller Peter Ho Davies play playdates postcards remember Salon.com Santa seemed share siblings sister someone started stay story sure swastika talk Ted Rose television tell things thought told took tried trip trying turn walked watched writing York York City