Mother on Fire by Sandra Tsing Loh
A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!

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This is a story about the year I exploded into flames. Which turns out to be more common than you’d think, among forty-something humans. Yea, we can hold it together in our thirties, with a raft of hair products and semi-tall nonfat half-caf beverages and much brisk walking to a lot of interesting appointments. Come the forties, though, cracks begin to appear. One staggers suddenly along life’s path; gourmet coffee splats; the wig slips askew. In other words, my friends, THE WHEELS COME OFF.

Sandra Tsing Loh is the fiercest, funniest, and most incredibly honest and self-deprecating voice to emerge from the “mommy war” debates. In Mother on Fire, she fires away with her trademark hilarious satire of societal and personal irks large and small, including limo liberals who preach the virtues of public school but send their children to fashionable private ones, the proliferation of costly skin-care products that just don’t cut it, society’s obsession with aromatherapy, her Chinese father’s disdain for her life as an artist, and $10 Target pants (“Are they running pants, exercise pants, pajama pants?”) that are the ubiquitous Mother of Small Children uniform.

Prompted by her own midlife crisis, Loh throws her frantic energy not into illicit affairs, shopping binges, or exotic trips, but into the harrowing heart of contemporary, dysfunctional L.A. life when she realizes that she can’t afford private school for her daughter, and her only alternative is her neighborhood’s public school, Guavatorina, where most of the kids speak Spanish and qualify for free lunches. In a theater-of-the-absurd-style odyssey, Mother on Fire documents Loh’s “year of living dangerously” among pompous school admissions officials, lactose-intolerant, Prius-driving parents, mafia dons of public radio, vindictive bosses, and old friends with new money as she first kisses ass—and then kicks it.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Sandra Tsing Loh

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SANDRA TSING LOH is an NPR commentator, an Atlantic Monthly contributor, and a successful performance artist. She is the author of four previous books.From the Hardcover edition.
Published August 12, 2008 by Crown Archetype. 322 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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Outspoken writer/performer Loh tells all about being an industrious minivan-driving mom during a particularly brutal midlife crisis: "the year I exploded into flames."

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Mother on Fire: A True Mother...

The New York Times

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A year in the life of a mom -- the performance artist Sandra Tsing Loh.

Aug 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Mother on Fire: A True Mother...


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If Amy Chua's tale of overachievement, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, left you looking for a different image of an Asian-American family, writer Ben Ryder Howe recommends Mother on Fire. Sandra Tsing Loh tells the story of her refreshingly "average" Asian-American family.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Mother on Fire: A True Mother...

Until the age of 40, you worry about what people are thinking about you and then you realize they are not thinking about you at all!

| Read Full Review of Mother on Fire: A True Mother...

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