Queen for a Day

A Novel in Stories

by Maxine Rosaler

On Sale: 06/11/2019

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Queen for a Day

by Maxine Rosaler

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Mimi Slavitt’s three-year-old son is autistic, but if we told her, she wouldn’t listen, because she doesn’t want to know—until at last his behavior becomes so strange that even she can’t ignore it. Mimi inhabits a world nearly as isolating as her son’s—one that she shares with mothers like her, chosen against their will for lives of sacrifice and martyrdom. Searching for miracles, fighting heartless bureaucracies while arranging every minute of every day for children who can never be left alone, they exist in a state of perpetual crisis, normal life always just out of reach. In chapters told from Mimi’s point of view and theirs, we meet these mothers, each a complex character totally unsuitable for sainthood and dreaming of the day she can just she walk away. Taking its title from the 1950s reality show that made suffering housewives compete against each other for deluxe refrigerators and life-saving operations, Queen for a Day portrays a group of imperfect women under enormous pressure. Rosaler tells their story in ironic, precise and vivid prose, with dark humor and insight born of first-hand experience.
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