BEAR WITH ME by Diane Flacks (McClelland & Stewart), 248 pages, $24.95 paper. Rating: NNNN
Hilarious stage performer and writer Diane Flacks breaks new ground with this moving account of her pregnancy, birthing and early parenting experiences as a lesbian mother.
Flacks has an uncanny knack for telling a story with supreme frankness, even if the story doesn't reflect on her all that glowingly. When she's crabby, she can be a real pain; when she's fussing a little bit too much over sweet baby Eli, she can be a real pain; and when she's experiencing real pain in labour.... You get the picture.
Speaking as a Jewish sister, I have a tiny problem with the way Flacks identifies overbearing mothering tactics with the Jewish Mother Gene. There are lots of "Put a blanket on him" mothers in all kinds of ethnic groups. But that's a small cavil.
Bear With Me is very funny, though not as funny as Flacks in performance. Seize any chance you get to see her do any of this material live. She's workshopping a solo show with Nightwood Theatre, and in the meantime joins a panel this week during Pride.
In addition to the yuks, this tale is poignant, especially when Flacks sheds light on her lesbian partnership in parentdom.
This is a book that should be shoved down Stephen Harper's throat.