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MAKE ME A MOTHER: A Memoir and Meditation of Adoption
by Susanne Antonetta

MAKE ME A MOTHER: A Memoir and Meditation of Adoption by Susanne Antonetta

• A powerful, transformative, and deeply heartfelt exploration of adoption from the award-winning author of BODY TOXIC and A MIND APART

• A celebration of a mother’s love as well as the inspiring lessons that extend beyond, re-framing cultural and global perspectives on what it means to truly “adopt”

In MAKE ME A MOTHER: A Memoir and Meditation of Adoption, a woman unexpectedly finds her best self through a child who arrives as a tired bundle handed over in an airport. This heartfelt, funny, and surprising book celebrates love born of connection and of difference, a love that ultimately brings the author into a transformed relationship with her parents and her own life.

Susanne Antonetta—a high school dropout from Northern New Jersey, a woman once given up as a hopeless teenager by doctors and her parents—adopts, with her husband Bruce, an infant born out of wedlock in Seoul, South Korea. After meeting their sixmonth-old son, Jin, at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (an incident made memorable when Susanne—so eager to meet her son—is chased down by airport security), Susanne and Bruce quickly learn the lessons common to all parents—the lack of sleep, the worry, and the joy of profoundly loving a child. But they also learn lessons particular to their own family: not just how another being can take over your life, but how to let an entire culture in; how to discuss birth parents and relinquishment; and the tricky steps required to navigate race in contemporary America.

MAKE ME A MOTHER explores the history of adoption, from Hammurabi’s Code to the present, as well as the prevalence of adoption in cultures around the world. This hybrid of memoir and cultural commentary also explores how the concept of adoption has come to govern many families these days: with step-children, step-parents, and friends and neighbors coming together to form their own concepts of family.

With a voice that is smart, funny, lyrical, and honest, Susanne allows us to examine how, in the end, we truly “adopt” all those we love. As she writes, “In the largest sense of the term adoption—to choose to take someone or something on—we adopt throughout our lives.”

Norton is very excited about MAKE ME A MOTHER and will be distributing it in the UK.


“Antonetta’s considerable achievement in BODY TOXIC is to devise a literary voice for the people who live in such (sacrifi ce) places...What Antone􀀩 a has wri􀀩 en is something new—a post psychological memoir...By the end of this dark, disturbing book you realize she has posed a challenge to our prevailing notions of science and journalism and even literary narrative.”—Michael Pollan, The New York Times

“Bittersweet and spoked with startlingly poetic descriptions, Antonetta’s compelling blend of family history and musings on crimes against nature in the nuclear age opens a new chapter in the literature of place and off ers a fresh and poignant look at the old story of inheritance.”—Booklist, *Starred Review* (on BODY TOXIC)

“As inventive and full of mischief and deep feeling as Diane Ackerman, as adept at translating experience into life lessons as Anne Lamott , and an excellent adjunct to Oliver Sacks, Antonetta fashions an intriguingly meandering narrative as she describes her atypical neurological experiences . . . Once again, Antonetta alters our perception of ourselves and our place in the biosphere as she makes unexpected connections, traverses rarely charted territory, articulates provocative observations, and leaves readers pondering a startling question, is neurodiversity as essential to life as biodiversity?”—Booklist, *Starred Review* (On A MIND APART)

“A MIND APART isn’t a polemic, it’s a “bipolar book . . . alinear, associational,” in which Antonetta wonders how anyone could “resist the lusciousness of others’ minds, moving around us, with us, all the time, like a gallery of veiled art?”—The Washington Post