"Ultimately the most fascinating character isn't her family, but Newman herself. This is because the book's force lies not in what it tells us about parenting, but in its sensitive portrayal of the blurring of self that happens after one has children. . . For Newman, this question of where she begins and ends is less of a riddle than a Buddhist koan. Wisely, she never tries to solve it. Her goal, in parenting and in writing, is only to figure out how to love from within it."―Elissa Strauss, New York Times Book Review
“Part of what makes Ms. Newman so good is her butterfly prose, colorful and light on its feet; part of it is her marvelous ability to reassure. It’s affirming for parents to see their lives reflected back at them, and in a theme-park fun house no less, with all of the dreary bits made stretchy and silly. I adore her sideways sense of humor.” Jennifer Senior, New York Times
“A series of essays, which masterfully combine story and reflection…Newman’s observations run the gamut from deep and profound to hilarious and true. Newman has a true gift for making the reader feel intimately connected to her family. In Catastrophic Happiness Newman has trapped lightning in a jar, allowing us all to admire its dazzle. In her book’s short, lovely pages she captures life as a mother, life as a human being, life in general, in all of its gorgeous, complicated grandeur.”—Lindsey Mead, Brain, Child
"our generation’s Poet Laureate of Parenthood" Jenny Rosenstrach, Dinner: A Love Story
“This is a book about mothers and children, or really, about how the job of mothering changes a woman, inevitably, irrevocably, and sometimes uncomfortably. Newman’s self-awareness is what makes the book work; it’s a portrait of striving toward a perfection that never existed, while loving the imperfection that surrounds us.” – Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
". . . laugh-out-loud funny. Newman brings tears and laughter and truth to the inexplicable—like the demanding aimlessness of her children's stories—pairing some very effective anecdotes with the boredom, pride, disgust, and joy of child-rearing." Publishers Weekly
"Catastrophic Happiness celebrates the absurdly lovely mess of the parenting years." ―More
"You know those taunting posts that promise to make you 'feel all the feels' only to leave you annoyed and let down? This is not one of those times. Catherine Newman's new essay collection on raising her two kids will make you laugh, cry, worry with her, and wish that you could make even the messiest, hardest, most crazy-making days with your children last just a little bit longer."―FamilyFun
"Newman's stories are specific and funny, and she writes about the gamut of emotions we feel but can't always verbalize for ourselves. [She] takes her readers along for a fascinating, yet comfortingly familiar, ride of family life." ―Kristen Kemp, Parents Magazine
For review copies and information, please contact Sabrina Callahan: firstname.lastname@example.org
My new book
Catastrophic Happiness (Little, Brown)!
"Hilarious, wise, sometimes neurotic and always delicious. Catherine Newman is a brilliant
observer of contemporary parenthood."―Claire Messud
"I've already read most of this book twice because that's the kind of book it is. You pick it up for laughs at the end of a long day and before you fall asleep, there are tears in your eyes. Your husband looks at you funny and you tell him, 'Yes I'm reading it again.' If you are a parent, this is the book you need to read."
―Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will and A Step Towards Falling
"There is no one else who reports from the parenting trenches better than Catherine Newman. Everything that makes raising kids so wonderfully unforgettable is here--the exhaustion, the hilarity, the fear, the self-doubt, the sweetness. Especially the sweetness. Even though she sugarcoats nothing--that's what sticks."
―Jenny Rosenstrach, blogger and author of Dinner: A Love Story
"Catastrophic Happiness unearthed all the moments I forgot to remember, things I meant to write down and preserve before they faded. As I read, I smiled and nodded, reliving, through Newman's heartbreakingly beautiful prose, the most golden--and the most gruesome--moments of my parenting life."―Jessica Lahey, author of New York Times bestseller The Gift of Failure
"You know how parenting books don't actually really help? Catherine Newman's book is the opposite. Totally personal and weirdly relatable, it soothes, inspires, and fascinates me. She manages to make me LOL and want to run upstairs and smell the heads of my sleeping children."―Kate Schatz, New York Times bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z and Rid of Me: A Story
"A gorgeous love letter to parenting. Nobody beats Catherine Newman for cracking you up while breaking your heart--and somehow teaching the wise things you always meant to learn along the way."―Katherine Center, author of Happiness for Beginners
"Catherine Newman could write about watching paint dry and manage to be both funny and profound. Her musings on motherhood and its attendant heartbreak will have you laughing out loud, nodding gratefully in agreement, and grasping for a Kleenex. There's no other writer I want accompanying me through my own journey in mothering."
―Luisa Weiss, author of My Berlin Kitchen and founder of The Wednesday Chef
"I was reluctant to relive early parenting, but from the first sentence, Catastrophic Happiness had me on the verge of tears and laughter. But honestly, Catherine Newman could write about the black mold that lines my kitchen sink and I would be captivated and moved. She is that awesome of a writer. I pray that she writes about teenagers, menopause, and old age, because I will be right there with her, ready for her words to help me through."
―Phyllis Grant, author of the Dash and Bella blog
"The poignancy, mania, and hilarity of parenthood drenches this delicious book. Catherine Newman divulges more than her own maternal peaks and valleys-- she offers us a way of looking at our own precious day-to-day. This book is flat-out honest, and it teems with humor and sweetness."
―Amity Gaige, author of Schroder
"Catastrophic Happiness is everything I could have hoped it might be. Reading it, I kept wanting to throw a fist in the air and scream, THANK YOU CATHERINE! I had the strangest and most wonderful feeling that she had climbed inside my head and knew exactly what I needed to hear."
―Molly Wizenberg, author of Orangette blog and the books A Homemade Life and Delancey
my old book
“It has been a long time since I've enjoyed a book as much as Waiting for Birdy. Reading it is a little like a pregnancy itself -- if you are a parent or about to become one, you'll find yourself laughing out loud, sobbing in public, and literally vibrating with resonant emotion. You know that little instruction manual you wished that your children had arrived with? Here it is -- and if it's not filled with answers, then it's packed with joy, love, anticipation, and a heady dose of the knowledge that when it comes to the mystery of parenting, none of us are in it alone.”
--Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister's Keeper
“Catherine Newman's new book about the rock and roll life of newborn parents is hysterical -- in both senses of the word -- and so dead-on honest that, as the mother of six, I wanted to have it made into a pillow. Waiting for Birdy proved my own grandmother's adage that one is like two and two is like five, and I nodded like a bobble-head doll as Newman described the delicious, neurotic hostage situation that attends the pregnancy and infancy of a child (Is it a cold? Is it cystic fibrosis?). Don't give birth without it."
--Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Baby Bat's Lullaby
"Frank, hilarious, sometimes agonizing and always delicious, Catherine Newman's account of early parenthood will ring true for all who have been there, and provide rare insight to those on their way. Waiting for Birdy is a gem."
--Claire Messud, author of The Emperor’s Children
“Catherine Newman captures poignantly, powerfully, and honestly that wondrous roller-coaster called parenting. Waiting for Birdy might the funniest -- and most astute -- account of a mother's first years with her child since Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions. Pure and simple, this book is a laugh-out-loud gem.”
--Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives and Before You Know Kindness
“I laughed and cried reading Catherine Newman’s wonderful Waiting for Birdy. Sometimes I laughed until I cried. As a book about parenthood, it is smart, funny, beautiful and excruciating, which means it is perfect. You will read it with the profound pleasure and relief of knowing you are not alone. Newman is there. Phew.”
--Cynthia Kaplan, author of Why I’m Like This: True Stories