A WRITER'S WIT
I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as normality. That is what makes story-telling such an absorbing task, the attempt to reduce to order the anarchic raw materials of life.
Born October 28, 1903
MY BOOK WORLD
Written as a call to women to gather their collective power and wisdom in order to move ahead as part of a larger coalition, this book is also memoir and political manifesto. Gillibrand shares many anecdotes from her family experience, from strong grandmothers and mother who mentor Kirsten, to her husband and children, who nurture her in yet other ways. She paints for the reader a “typical” day, in which she is like any working mother: managing lunches, car pools, rides after school, and, oh yeah, writing legislation for issues such as sexual assault in the military. Furthermore, she shares much from women (and a few men) in politics who’ve helped her along the way. She also tells tales about the nameless bad boys of the Senate who make inappropriate and unsolicited comments about her weight or appearance and how she, fully under composure, responds in ways that are appropriate. But finally, the book sounds a clarion call to women and men everywhere, who believe it is way beyond the time when women should occupy at least half of the Senate and House seats. The opposite has been true for too long, and what has it gotten us? Studies show that women are far better at working collaboratively, among other positive traits, so why shouldn’t they now have a chance to show what they can do (as Bob Thaves, cartoonist, said “Ginger Rogers did everything he [Fred Astaire] did, backwards . . . and in high heels.”). Coming in under 200 pages, the book is a quick read, and Gillibrand’s prose is not laden with political speak. What it is full of is heart! And our political life can always use a shot of that.
NEXT TIME: ITALIA 4, LAST INSTALLMENT OF PHOTOS