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Emmys 2017
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Circling My Mother

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In the preface to this tribute, Mary Gordon admits, ”I came to realize that I couldn’t see my mother properly by standing in one place, by standing still.” Instead, she ponders her mother Anna’s life from multiple perspectives, dividing it neatly into chapters such as ”My Mother and Her Bosses,” ”My Mother and Her Sisters,” and ”My Mother and the Great World.” In Circling My Mother, Gordon provides flashes of Anna in her more vibrant days before alcoholism and dementia set in: working overtime as a law firm secretary, attending church retreats, seeing Gigi at NYC’s Radio City. But too often extraneous details — like a history lesson on her preferred perfume or the life story of a favorite priest — overwhelm Anna’s tale, leaving her frustratingly elusive. C+