The most popular question any pregnant woman is asked — aside from “When are you due?” — has got to be “Are you having a girl or a boy?” When author Andrea Buchanan was pregnant with her daughter, she was thrilled to be expecting a girl. Some people were happy for her, with shared visions of flouncy pink dresses and promises of mother-daughter bonding to come. Other people, though, were concerned: “Is your husband OK with that?” “You can try again.” “Girls are tough.” This mixed message led her to explore the issue herself, with help from her fellow mother-writers, many of whom had had the same experience.The result is It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters, a wide-ranging, humorous, honest, and poignant collection of essays on the experience of mothering daughters. As she did in It’s a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons, Buchanan and her contributors take on what it’s really like to raise a child — in this case, a girl — from babyhood to adulthood with essays on everything from “princess power” (”Shining, Shimmering, Splendid”), adding a girl to a brood of boys (”Confessions of a Tomboy Mom”), dealing with a daughter’s eating disorder (”The Food Rules”), and mothering “hardcore mini-feminists” (”Tough Girls”).
Contributors include Carolyn Alessio, Barbara Card Atkinson, Jenny Block, Amy Bloom, Gayle Brandeis, Martha Brockenbrough, Andrea Buchanan, Ann Douglas, Leslie Fields, Kim Fischer, Gwendolen Gross, Jessica Berger Gross, Rachel Hall, Kelly Harrington Johnson, Suzanne Kamata, Yvonne Latty, Jennifer Lauck, Jody Mace, Jennifer Margulis, Joyce Maynard, Jacqueline Mitchard, Vicky Mlyniec, Catherine Newman, Miriam Peskowitz, Jill Siler, Gabrielle Smith-Dluha, Rebecca Steinitz, Emily Strong, Shari MacDonald Strong, and Katharine Weber.