Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?|Jancee Dunn
Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? : And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask
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Despite her forty years and a successful career as a rock journalist, Jancee Dunn still feels like a teenager, especially around her parents and sisters. Looking around, Dunn realizes that she's not alone in this regression: Her friends, all with successful jobs, marriages, and families of their own, still feel like kids around their moms and dads, too. That gets Dunn to thinking: Do we ever really grow up?

Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? explores this phenomenon-through both Dunn's coming to grips with getting older and her folks' attempts to turn back the clock. In a series of hilarious and heartwarming essays, Dunn conspires with her sisters to finagle their way into the old family homestead, dissects the whys and wherefores of her parents' obsession with newspaper clippings, confronts the seamy side of the JC Penney catalogs she paged through as a kid, and accompanies her sixtysomething mother to a New Jersey tattoo parlor, where Mom is giddy to get a raven inked onto her wrist. And Dunn does it all with humor and insight.

This item is Non-Returnable


  • ISBN-13: 9780345501929
  • ISBN-10: 0345501926
  • Publisher: Villard Books
  • Publish Date: June 2009
  • Dimensions: 7.94 x 5.3 x 0.51 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.36 pounds
  • Page Count: 208

It runs in the family

If it weren’t for wacky families, what would writers use for their literary inspiration? That’s a question that will never plague humorist Jancee Dunn, as she amply portrays in her new memoir, Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?

Dunn explores the paradox of the child/parent relationship with amusement and exasperation. This is a quandary familiar to anyone who has tried to drag a parent into the technological 21st century. Of course, as Dunn cheerfully chronicles, these children are then appalled when the parent embraces modern ideas, demonstrated in Dunn’s case when her 60-something mother decides to get a tattoo.

Most of Dunn’s vignettes are funny (occasionally hilarious), but she does tread solemn ground when she writes of her decision not to have children. An otherwise pleasant woman becomes incensed when Dunn confesses she and her husband enjoy their childless existence: “‘Don’t you think it’s selfish not to have children?’ This dishearteningly familiar argument never failed to amaze me. Why on earth was refraining from adding a child to a world with an exploding population and diminishing ozone layer selfish?”

Dunn’s humor confirms that if you can’t change things, it’s much better to laugh about them, especially if you can do so with others.