In her recent book, Stroller (Bloomsbury, October 2022), Amanda Parrish Morgan argues that the pram's modern descendent, the stroller, serves as an apt and complicated metaphor for parenthood, in part because of the ways it allows parents to move through the world with their children, even if in a slightly slower, more roundabout or clunky way. At "The Pram in the Hall," Madison-based author Jaclyn Gilbert (Late Air, 2018) and Parrish Morgan will discuss the quest for intellectual and artistic fulfillment in early parenthood and lead a generative workshop for writers of all genres and levels of experience as a way of pushing back against antiquated and often sexist notions about the relationship between parenthood and creativity.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
Among the many things expectant parents are told to buy, none is a more visible symbol of status and parenting philosophy than a stroller. Although its association with wealth dates back to the invention of the first pram in the 1700s, in recent decades, four-figure strollers have become not just status symbols but cultural identifiers.
There are sleek jogging strollers for serious athletes, impossibly compact strollers for parents determined to travel internationally with pre-ambulatory children, and those featuring a ride-on kick board or second, less “babyish” seat, designed with older siblings in mind. Despite the many models available, we are all familiar with the image of a harried mother struggling to use a stroller of any kind in a public space that does not accommodate it. There are anti-stroller evangelists, fervently preaching the gospel of baby wearing and attachment parenting. All of these attitudes, seemingly about an object, are also revealing of how we believe parents and children ought to move through the world.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Amanda Parrish Morgan’s STROLLER, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury’s Object Lesson series in 2022!
Some of my essays have appeared in the 2021 Connecticut Literary Anthology, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Millions, , Electric Literature, Carve, The American Scholar and the Ploughshares Blog. I’ve also written some pieces about long-distance running and teaching (my other fascinations) for JSTOR Daily, The Washington Post, Real Simple, Women’s Running and ESPNW.
I live in Connecticut with my husband and two kids where I teach at Fairfield University and the Westport Writers’ Workshop.
Jaclyn Gilbert received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and BA from Yale University. She is the recipient of a research fellowship from the New York Public Library, a 2019 artist in residence at the Byrdcliffe Colony in Woodstock, a contributor to the Bread Loaf, Tin House, and Colgate Writers' Conferences, and her work has appeared in Post Road Magazine, Tin House, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She has led writing workshops at the Valhalla Correctional Facility, and the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Most recently, she founded Drift(less) Literary with the aim of working with writers working on experimental projects of poetry and prose and building sustainable relationships with a diverse range of small and independent presses in the process Late Air (Little A, 2018) is her first novel.
PLEASE JOIN US IN PERSON AT RJ JULIA FOR THE PRAM IN THE HALL EVENT
Can't make it to the event? You can still purchase a signed copy of Stroller.