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Becoming Grandma : The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting
by Lesley Stahl


Overview - The New York Times Bestseller

From one of the country's most recognizable journalists: How becoming a grandmother transforms a woman's life.

After four decades as a reporter, Lesley Stahl's most vivid and transformative experience of her life was not covering the White House, interviewing heads of state, or researching stories at 60 Minutes Read more...


 
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More About Becoming Grandma by Lesley Stahl
 
 
 
Overview
The New York Times Bestseller

From one of the country's most recognizable journalists: How becoming a grandmother transforms a woman's life.

After four decades as a reporter, Lesley Stahl's most vivid and transformative experience of her life was not covering the White House, interviewing heads of state, or researching stories at 60 Minutes. It was becoming a grandmother. She was hit with a jolt of joy so intense and unexpected, she wanted to "investigate" it--as though it were a news flash. And so, using her 60 Minutes skills, she explored how grandmothering changes a woman's life, interviewing friends like Whoopi Goldberg, colleagues like Diane Sawyer (and grandfathers, including Tom Brokaw), as well as the proverbial woman next door.

Along with these personal accounts, Stahl speaks with scientists and doctors about physiological changes that occur in women when they have grandchildren; anthropologists about why there are grandmothers, in evolutionary terms; and psychiatrists about the therapeutic effects of grandchildren on both grandmothers and grandfathers.

Throughout Becoming Grandma, Stahl shares stories about her own life with granddaughters Jordan and Chloe, about how her relationship with her daughter, Taylor, has changed, and about how being a grandfather has affected her husband, Aaron.

In an era when baby boomers are becoming grandparents in droves and when young parents need all the help they can get raising their children, Stahl's book is a timely and affecting read that redefines a cherished relationship.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399168154
  • ISBN-10: 039916815X
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Pr
  • Publish Date: April 2016
  • Page Count: 271
  • Dimensions: 1 x 6.25 x 9.25 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Family & Relationships > Parenting - Grandparenting
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-03-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

When becoming a grandparent invigorated 60 Minutes correspondent Stahl “with new purpose,” she decided to research others’ experiences, and the result is this energetic, informative, and often touching book. In the hands of a less sensitive reporter, it might come across as a study of grandparenting by the one percent; Stahl readily admits that taking flights just to visit her grandchildren is a privilege few Americans share. Instead, she takes pains to profile multi-generational families at a variety of income levels, while also showing how grandparenting can be therapeutic and “curative in a profound way.” It might even be helping the economy—grandparent spending has increased sevenfold in the last decade. Stahl includes stories of generational conflict and her personal regrets as a working mother along with plentiful glimpses of her family’s joys and those of many other families. The statistics are surprising: the median age of new grandmothers in the U.S. is 50 (54 for grandfathers). As Stahl points out, that young age, coupled with longer life spans, represents a large-scale shift in the role of grandparents in U.S. culture. No matter where readers fall in age or experience, this book should top their 2016 reading list of parenting titles. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Apr.)

 
BookPage Reviews

The euphoria of being a grandparent

How does an award-winning journalist contemplate a transformative change in her own life? With prodigious research that finds room for the blind love growing in “a whole new chamber in my heart.” Lesley Stahl, longtime correspondent for “60 Minutes,” has a lot to share about Becoming Grandma.

Bowled over by her “thunderstruck” reaction to the birth of her first granddaughter, Stahl decides to examine grandparenthood in all its scientific, psychological, familial and cultural dimensions. She begins by looking for an explanation for her unexpected euphoria and discovers there’s a scientific reason for it: Oxytocin, the hormone that the female brain releases upon childbirth, works for grandmas, too. Stahl compares the experience to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, altering women from within and changing “what even the most career-oriented woman thinks is important.”

Stahl surveys the mothers, stepgrandmas and surrogate “grans” of today’s fluid families, including great-grandmother Whoopi Goldberg, columnist Ellen Goodman and Stahl’s “60 Minutes” colleagues. 

Stahl calls the rewards of grandparenting the “extra bonus points” that come with aging. Now well into her 70s, she is still working—and her two beloved granddaughters are keeping her young.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews