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Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir de…
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Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir (edició 2014)

de Michelle Theall

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452453,420 (3.44)1
"A compelling memoir of a gay Catholic woman struggling to find balance between being a daughter and a mother raising her son with a loving partner in the face of discrimination. From the time she was born, Michelle Theall knew she was different. Coming of age in the Texas Bible Belt, a place where it was unacceptable to be gay, Theall found herself at odds with her strict Roman Catholic parents, bullied by her classmates, abandoned by her evangelical best friend whose mother spoke in tongues, and kicked out of Christian organizations that claimed to embrace her--all before she'd ever held a girl's hand. Shame and her longing for her mother's acceptance led her to deny her feelings and eventually run away to a remote stretch of mountains in Colorado. There, she made her home on an elk migration path facing the Continental Divide, speaking to God every day, but rarely seeing another human being. At forty-three years of age and seemingly settled in her decision to live life openly as a gay woman, Theall and her partner attempt to have their son baptized into the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in the liberal town of Boulder, Colorado. Her quest to have her son accepted into the Church leads to a battle with Sacred Heart and with her mother that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the bonds of family and faith. And she realizes that in order to be a good mother, she may have to be a bad daughter. Teaching the Cat to Sit examines the modern roles of motherhood and religion and demonstrates that our infinite capacity to love has the power to shape us all"--"The book opens with Michelle taking on the priest in her Catholic church in Boulder, Colorado, who is reneging on his promise to baptize her four-year-old son, Logan, a mixed race kid who was in an abusive home with unfit teenage parents before she and her partner of eleven years Avery adopted him. But the real tension at the heart of the book is Michelle wrestling with where she came from, what it means to be Catholic, what her faith means to her in spite of the church's stance on social issues, as well as coping with her own mother's unwillingness to accept her loving relationship with her partner even though she dotes on Logan--and how sometimes you have to meet in the middle to get along with family. For Michelle, it wasn't until she developed MS and was being cared for by Avery--the only conduit her mother had to find out news of her daughter's condition from 2,000 miles away--that her mother began to accept her partner as family. Ultimately, they forged a bond over loving Michelle. Michelle does poignant as well as she does spare and paints a portrait of a mother-daughter relationship that is at once fraught and loving, doomed and hopeful, as she and her mom try to relate across generations and cultures, sexual orientation and illness, faith and religion. At its core, Teaching the Cat to Sit is a mother-daughter story about being a mother when you still need a mother yourself"--… (més)
Membre:Micalhut
Títol:Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir
Autors:Michelle Theall
Informació:Gallery Books (2014), Hardcover, 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir de Michelle Theall

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Michelle Theall makes a frustrating protagonist of her memoir. Plagued by her mother's cruelty and lack of acceptance her entire life, she devotes herself to being the perfect Catholic daughter to pay penance for being a lesbian. It's difficult to see how she drags her partner, Jill, and their adopted son, Connor, through uncomfortable situation after situation, whether it's ongoing battles with the Church to have Connor baptized despite the priest's clear homophobia, or brushing off Jill's complaints about being at Theall family gatherings where Jill is explicitly and intentionally shunned. I kept reading, eager to find out how the author's life progressed, whether she eventually realized the futility of living for a woman who had never shown true love for her. No such luck. Although she makes some growth and does occasionally reflect on her extreme internalized homophobia, Theall is never able to cut herself off from her callous parents — a mother who refused to talk to her after Michelle came out to her, after years of suffering in the closet as an adult, and declared her daughter dead, and a father who said, "You must have done something to provoke it" when Michelle finally tells her parents about being raped as a child. Instead, she continuously makes excuses for her parents' behavior, claims that her mother acts out of love, and strives to live her life to please them. While Michelle Theall's story is engaging, with a mix of present and flashbacks, her inability for self-reflection and recognition of her self-destructive tendencies make it an ultimately disappointing read.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
A lesbian raised as a Catholic is faced with prejudice when her son's Catholic kindergarten decides to "invite them" to take him somewhere else because of his lesbian moms. Interspersed with her memoirs of growing up with devout Catholic parents, this was very powerful and reminded me a lot of my own childhood. ( )
  odurant | Jul 25, 2014 |
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"A compelling memoir of a gay Catholic woman struggling to find balance between being a daughter and a mother raising her son with a loving partner in the face of discrimination. From the time she was born, Michelle Theall knew she was different. Coming of age in the Texas Bible Belt, a place where it was unacceptable to be gay, Theall found herself at odds with her strict Roman Catholic parents, bullied by her classmates, abandoned by her evangelical best friend whose mother spoke in tongues, and kicked out of Christian organizations that claimed to embrace her--all before she'd ever held a girl's hand. Shame and her longing for her mother's acceptance led her to deny her feelings and eventually run away to a remote stretch of mountains in Colorado. There, she made her home on an elk migration path facing the Continental Divide, speaking to God every day, but rarely seeing another human being. At forty-three years of age and seemingly settled in her decision to live life openly as a gay woman, Theall and her partner attempt to have their son baptized into the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in the liberal town of Boulder, Colorado. Her quest to have her son accepted into the Church leads to a battle with Sacred Heart and with her mother that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the bonds of family and faith. And she realizes that in order to be a good mother, she may have to be a bad daughter. Teaching the Cat to Sit examines the modern roles of motherhood and religion and demonstrates that our infinite capacity to love has the power to shape us all"--"The book opens with Michelle taking on the priest in her Catholic church in Boulder, Colorado, who is reneging on his promise to baptize her four-year-old son, Logan, a mixed race kid who was in an abusive home with unfit teenage parents before she and her partner of eleven years Avery adopted him. But the real tension at the heart of the book is Michelle wrestling with where she came from, what it means to be Catholic, what her faith means to her in spite of the church's stance on social issues, as well as coping with her own mother's unwillingness to accept her loving relationship with her partner even though she dotes on Logan--and how sometimes you have to meet in the middle to get along with family. For Michelle, it wasn't until she developed MS and was being cared for by Avery--the only conduit her mother had to find out news of her daughter's condition from 2,000 miles away--that her mother began to accept her partner as family. Ultimately, they forged a bond over loving Michelle. Michelle does poignant as well as she does spare and paints a portrait of a mother-daughter relationship that is at once fraught and loving, doomed and hopeful, as she and her mom try to relate across generations and cultures, sexual orientation and illness, faith and religion. At its core, Teaching the Cat to Sit is a mother-daughter story about being a mother when you still need a mother yourself"--

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