Elizabeth Benedict's obsession with a beautiful scarf her mother gave her, the last gift before she died, inspired her to ask prominent women, including Pulitzer Prize winners, perenially bestselling novelists, and well-known NPR commentators, about a favorite gift from their own mothers. The result is What My Mother Gave Me: 31 Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Publishers Weekly raves about the essays themselves ("each is beautifully crafted") and the special value of the book: "For anyone trying to understand mother-daughter relationships, this collection provides the answer." Cathleen Schine says, "As varied and unexpected and eloquent and moving as mother love itself, What My Mother Gave Me is a gift to all of us."
In this event created specifically for the Library, Ms. Benedict discusses the book's themes and experiences with contributors Margo Jefferson, a former New York Times theater critic and the author of On Michael Jackson; Martha McPhee, author most recently of the novel Dear Money, and Roxana Robinson, author of Cost and the upcoming Sparta.
Elizabeth Benedict is a graduate of Barnard College and the author of five novels, including the bestseller Almost and the National Book Award finalist Slow Dancing. She is the editor of the anthology Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives, and has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and the Huffington Post, theRumpus, and Tin House. Two of her essays have been selected for Best American Essays collections. She has taught widely and works as a writing coach and editor.