Bring Down the Little Birds
On Mothering, Art, Work, and Everything Else
Writing in fragmented yet coherent sections, the author shares with us her interior monologue, affording the reader a uniquely honest, insightful, and deeply personal glimpse into a woman’s first and second journeys into motherhood. Giménez Smith begins Bring Down the Little Birds by detailing the relationship with her own mother, from whom her own concept of motherhood originated, a conception the author continually reevaluates and questions over the course of the book.
Combining fragments of thought, daydreams, entries from notebooks both real and imaginary, and real-life experiences, Giménez Smith interrogates everything involved in becoming and being a mother for both the first and second times. She wonders what her children will one day know about her own “secret life,” meditates on the physical effects of pregnancy, and questions the myths about, nostalgia for, and glorification of motherhood.
While Giménez Smith incorporates universal experiences of motherhood that other authors have detailed throughout literature, what separates her book from these many others is that her reflections are captured in a style that establishes an intimacy and immediacy between author and reader through which we come to know the secret life of a mother and are made to question our own conception of what motherhood really means.
“Giménez Smith writes lyrically . . . [and] does the best thing a writer can do—she trusts her voice. She trusts that her point of view is fresh (it is), that her experiences and analysis are compelling (they are).”—Ms. Magazine
“Bring Down the Little Birds is a hyper-shifting collage . . . whose engagement comes from the disciplined interweaving of remembrance and emotion.”—Contrary Magazine
"Carmen Giménez Smith elevates the motherhood memoir to pure poetry. Who are we, beyond somebody's mother and somebody's daughter? Bring Down the Little Birds dives into all the rich and irritating questions with heart, guts, and humor."—Ariel Gore, author of Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness and founder of Hip Mama