More than a book, more than a book launch: “We really are the same”

by Ann on April 17, 2015

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April 7th arrived and now people can purchase LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now in book stores everywhere.  You can pick up our book and think “Great title!” without knowing about 1500 people braving the stage, and often for the first time.

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That mouth on the book jacket can catch your eye without any idea that people yearn for this starkly honest and sometimes irreverent dialogue spoken aloud about mothering and being mothered, to the extent that they become producers and directors almost overnight in order to host their own LTYM show. When a shopper drops LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now into their cart and thinks “Score! Perfect Mother’s Day Gift!” they might not know the tradition of communities crossing bridges literal and metaphorical to come together if only for 90 minutes once a year to honor and celebrate the work of mothering, and raise funds for a local nonprofit to support women and families in need.

Until they open the cover and start reading.

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A couple hundred local LTYM directors/producers, show alumni, family, fans and friends gathered at BookCourt in Brooklyn on Wednesday April 8th to roll out the red carpet for Listen To Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now publication day.

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Many of us have worked together for years and never met, as our collaboration happens electronically and hundreds or thousands of miles apart. No conference call, email or webinar can replace hugs among stacks of books with real pages.

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A few of our contributors joined me in reading from the book. Natalie Cheung Hall, Zach Wahls, Taya Dunn Johnson, Amy Wilson, and Wendi Aarons inspired peels of laughter from the audience, nods of recognition, and of course some LTYM trademark tears.

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Natalie Cheung Hall reading “She Knew It”


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 View More: Zach Wahls reading “What Matters Most”


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 View More: Wilson reading “Idiopathic”


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 View More: Dunn Johnson reading “Peanut Butter And Jelly”


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View More: Aarons reading “The Job of Motherhood”


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I was signing books and a woman said to me, after hearing the readings:

We really are the same.

We really are the same in many fundamental ways, despite all the bias and differences we carry around inside and out. When LTYM works its simple powerful magic, those elusive interpersonal bonds become visible for a short time, so that everyone present might feel a tenderness and commonality in the room. We hope you leave our events feeling validated and inspired. We hope you leave our book with an open heart and open mind, feeling celebrated, and uplifted.

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Thank you to all the women and men of Listen To Your Mother, and especially to Putnam Books (Stephanie, Elena, Anna, Lauren), my agent Elizabeth Kaplan, and editor Elizabeth Stein for this book that will allow even more people to experience those invisible bonds among us.

Thank you to photographer Anna Palmer of Jennifer Lee Photography for capturing this unforgettable night of LTYM collaboration with such a loving eye. Jennifer Lee Photography has given her time and talent to LTYM: NYC since 2012, and her photos have become a vital part of telling the LTYM story as we grow. You can view the full gallery of photos here.


Thank you to everyone who traveled from near and far to join us for this momentous occasion. Thank you to BookCourt for showing us such hospitality. Also, thank you to Amy Wilson, Elizabeth Robinson, and Barbara Herel from our LTYM: NYC team who collaborated with our launch event planning.

I am eternally grateful to Listen To Your Mother–a dream I never knew I had. I feel beyond thankful for this book–those with pages…

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and (omg) those with frosting.

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Thank you to LTYM National Media Sponsor SheKnows Media #BlogHer15 for the epic “Experts Among Us” meet-up for the online community right around the corner at LaVara! You can view more meet-up photos here, and join us at meet-ups in tandem with our shows in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, & San Francisco!! More details and RSVP here.


Tickets for all 38 LTYM shows ON SALE NOW!

Tracey Becker April 17, 2015 at 10:43 am


Holly April 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

Very proud to have played a small role in this piece of history.

alexandra April 17, 2015 at 11:27 am

My gosh, a picture really is worth a thousand words. What a night. Being part of LTYM, magic.

Kim Jorgensen Gane April 17, 2015 at 12:39 pm

EPIC congratulations on so much wonderfulness!! You are getting back what you’ve given to all of us, and what we now get to give others. We are all the same. Love that. Love you. LOVE Listen to Your Mother!!! xo

Drcheung April 17, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Loving it!

Amy April 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I am so thankful to Anna Palmer and Jennifer Lee for these gorgeous photos. You guys are the best!

deborah April 17, 2015 at 2:09 pm

PERFECT PICS, and I’d expect nothing less of the talented Jennifer Lee! GINORMOUS congratulations to you and everyone who made that night a success!!

Lisa April 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm

What an amazing night that was, full of magic and amazing people. So happy to relive it through the pictures. Thank you!

Elaine A. April 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Fabulous! I love all the photos and I can feel the excitement. So happy for you, Ann, and all those published in the book. Congratulations11

Bobbie Krinsky April 17, 2015 at 8:36 pm

I’m half way through the book — every night it’s a struggle to put down. Bravo, Pannie The Magnificente. Major love, Bobbie

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