Apple, Tree

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

APPLE, TREE is edited by Lise Funderburg and includes selections from writers about their parents. The title refers to the expression about an apple not falling far from the tree or, as Funderburg tells us the French say, "Les chiens ne font pas des chats."  I had thought that our writing students who are at an age where they are struggling with questions of identity and of separation from parents might find some value in this collection.  However – and, honestly, I only sampled a few essays – I did not think that the selections here would interest teenagers.  Many of the essays were written from a very adult perspective and some seemed to be crafted in a rather stilted manner, often times in second person almost as though the author was just journaling some form of personal therapy. One that I did like was Ann Patchett's "Sisters," but, again, it could be a stretch for teens to relate even to that essay and my relatively low rating reflects a perceived mismatch between this text and our students.
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After reading this book, it appears that a lot of writers come from dysfunctional families. Is it that they see the truth and refuse to varnish it for their reading audience? Whatever it is, many of the stories capture the love/hate relationships writers have with their parents as well as how these relationships shape their outlook as adults.
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This book was an informative and personal view into the lives of writers but also adults who were once children wanting to know who they were and are now. Beautifully presented reflections in theory and practice!

Below is an excerpt of my full review:

"Apple, Tree: Writers on Their Parents by Lise Funderburg explores the adolescent trappings and developments of its contributors, starting from the root and out to the branch where gravity took a hold of them and plotted them in front of the parental gaze. Far pass Freudian theory, this collection on child rearing and family dynamics informs the writer’s life as something both undesirable and desirable as bath time. The dichotomous relationship of the apple (child) and the tree (parent) can be felt first in the bifurcation by the comma in the book’s title. Difference within or between family members is not always apparent, but as the tree holds the apple, the parent holds onto the child, until the child notices just how far out of reach the parent is and vice versa..."

To read my full review, please visit my website here:

Thank you to NetGalley and The University of Nebraska Press for sending a review copy. I enjoyed the read!
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Thank you to the University of Nebraska Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I do love essays, and this book more than met my expectations. I was only familiar with a few of the authors that contributed, but was entranced by each essay in turn, even though they were each different, sometimes very different, in tone. The glimpses into family life, what shaped and made you, were very open, honest and personal. I've already gone looking for further reading by the contributors. 

Highly recommend!
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I love reading authors discuss anything personal. I love essays and memoirs that give me a look into what made an author who they are. This is no exception. Exquisite.
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This book is everything I expected and somehow more. I was attracted by the names of some contributors and the stories never disappointed. It made me sad and nostalgic and happy. Family always offers you a mix of these feeling whether you're like them or did the best you could to make your life different. I already recommended it to some of my friends.
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Honest open real the authors share with us their stories examples from theirblives traits similarity to their parents,Some stories humorous some warm each a wonderful look at family traits or how the apple does not fall far from the tree.#netgalley #uof Nebraskapress.
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Love the stories shared in this book and it goes to show that the apple does not fall far from the tree indeed.
Some stories are funny, light, others grow on you and some make you nostalgic...but all in all, this collection is what I'd call a warm collection.
Thank you for the eARC Netgalley.
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