"The Mama's Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger," by Kate Lomdardi
Jeff Glor talks to Kate Lomdardi about "The Mama's Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger."
Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?
Kate Lombardi: My son and I have always had a close relationship. So do so many other moms and sons I know. But the only cultural image we ever see of mother-son closeness is a negative one. Not only in books, but also in movies, on television and in commercials, the portrayal is always that stereotypical "Mama's Boy" image: the controlling, smothering mom and the weak, dependent son. But in real homes, mothers are nurturing warm, close relationships with their sons, and far from raising wimpy guys, they are raising strong, emotionally intelligent, independent young men. I wanted to explore that disconnect - what accounted for this big gap between the popular image and the reality?
JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?
KL: So many mothers I interviewed said something along the lines of, "You have to understand, my son and I have a particularly close relationship" or "We're unusually close." Young men, too, would talk about how they opened up to their moms more than most guys. The truth, it turned out, was that mother-son closeness was really very prevalent. But all these moms and sons thought their relationships were unique, because no one ever talks about it. The taboo about moms and sons is still so strong that this was all going on underground.
JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?
KL: I would probably spend a lot more time cooking. I love every aspect of it - shopping for ingredients, coming up with new ideas, preparing the food while listening to my favorite music. I even have a few playlists with titles like "Music To Cook By" and have been caught using a spatula as a faux-microphone. (I could do without washing the pots and pans, of course.)
JG: What else are you reading right now?
KL: Just finished "Sense of An Ending," by Julian Barnes. Before that it was "Swamplandia!" by Karen Russell, and I've been a little obsessed with "Room" by Emma Donoghue.
JG: What's next for you?
KL: "The Mama's Boy Myth" seems to have really touched a cultural nerve and opened up a conversation on the issues of mothers and sons. I followed my instincts in pursuing that topic, so I'm going to follow them again and see where this theme leads me.
For more on "The Mama's Boy Myth," visit the Penguin Group website.
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