"Jessica Teich's understanding of trauma is the infallible authority upon which her tale rests. But the delicacy and nuance with which she renders this story is that of a poet. This beautiful, compassionately imagined book will bring a pang of recognition to anyone who has traveled to young adulthood from a wounded adolescence via the quest for 'perfection.'" - Meryl Streep
An intimate psychological memoir, The Future Tense of Joy is the luminous account of one woman’s efforts to free herself — and her family — from the demons of the past. The book deftly chronicles the daily consolations of marriage and motherhood, even as it exposes the treachery of silence to honor the healing power of love.ORDER NOW
Jessica Teich graduated summa cum laude from Yale and received an M.Phil degree from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar. Her previous book, Trees Make The Best Mobiles: Simple Ways To Raise Your Child In A Complex World, appeared in Vanity Fair, People, Us, and The Chicago Tribune, and was featured on the Today Show. For almost a decade, Teich worked as a literary manager at the Mark Taper Forum, commissioning and developing plays. She subsequently received a grant to write and direct a movie for the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute. Teich served as head of the Biography committee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters, and dog.
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Survivors remember the past in pieces. Not necessarily “before” and “after,” which would be easier. It’s more like time melts into Dali-like puddles, or convulses, slamming together faces and events. Psychologists often speak of a distortion in time afterward, as though the trauma occurred only moments before, but sometimes the pain is so buried it ceases to exist. Then it springs up suddenly, like an allergy, even when it seems there’s no irritant. Or descends, like a fine but malevolent mesh.
That was true for me, but I could never write about my experience as a “survivor.” Even the word seemed bloodless, badly lit. I’d had so many privileges: an education at Yale, then at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. I had a lovely husband and children; two daughters with their father’s long lashes and love of puns. But I felt trapped behind a scrim, like the smoked glass of an antique mirror, with life on the other side, tantalizing and remote. What happened when I was a child was holding me hostage, as surely as if I’d been stolen away.
There is a moment, stepping onto a plane, when you may hesitate at the threshold, nervous to leave the safety of one world, uncertain of the world beyond. This book takes place at that juncture, a crucial moment for my family, when I tried to make the pieces of my life cohere. Its sections are like those shards of experience, but the path they chart is not specific to me. For we have all been broken or betrayed.
Life is the part that happens after. When we move toward hope, toward peace, toward the healing of our hearts.
“Provocative in its questioning of what female success really means. An honest, compassionate memoir about shaking off personal demons.” —Kirkus Reviews
"A daring and intimate journey into the soul of motherhood. Compelling." —Steve Martin
"Intoxicating and deeply immersive. This elegant book has a cinematic immediacy. It’s a page turner and thriller in the best sense of both words." —Daniel Silva, New York Times bestselling author
"A dazzling debut. Teich moves immediately to the first ranks of memoirists. Her book is wry and poetic and deeply moving. This story of hope and healing will lift your heart." —Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author
Most new parents have little time to reflect on their actions. They barely have time to post a photo or wash a sock. This little book, written with Brandel France de Bravo, is easy to dip into when your baby naps (or before you put yourself to sleep). But its brief chapters cover a wide range of issues—from sleep and siblings to caregivers and co-parenting — that plague new parents and add to the tensions in their home. Inspired by our own experiences and supported by extensive research, the book offers a highly practical program for investing even routine tasks, like feeding and bathing, with humor and tenderness. It will help make time with your child richer and more rewarding, by allowing you to be your best self: alert, vibrant, generous—and fully alive in the present tense.ORDER NOW
trees make the best mobiles
People in movies tend to “meet cute,” when their dog leashes become entangled or they swap suitcases by accident. New parents have their own version of this time-honored ritual. It's called “meeting low.” They are digging with their children in the sandbox, or putting on shoes at preschool, or sitting cross-legged on the floor at story time. [Brandel and I] met on the floor of a yoga center in Los Angeles, where we were attending an unusual parenting course. In the movies, the couple falls in love, has some madcap adventures, argues, and resolves their differences by the closing, soon-to-be-Oscar-nominated song. We fell in “like,” compared notes on our careers as writers, and began talking about writing the kind of parenting book we longed for but could never find.
We discovered, during that first talk, that we and our friends needed parenting books that respected us as sentient beings, tired though we were. We're all mothers who think and care and wonder and worry. What we're not is people with lots of time on our hands. We began to imagine a book that would tackle some of the toughest challenges of parenting, without becoming one of those "exhaustive" books on child-rearing that become exhausting to read. We believe that all parents want to thrive in concert with their children and that, although nine months can seem an eternity when your feet swell or your stomach revolts, it's never enough time to become the parent you want to be The result is an intuitive and eclectic approach to raising children, based largely on observation and experience. Our book advises you to do less, listen more, speak directly to your newborn, involve your infant in her own care, and treat this mewling creature with the same respect you give your partner, and yourself.
“What a wonderful world we’d have if all children were raised with the sensitivity, insight, and wisdom found in this delightful book.”
—Elaine St. James,
author of Simplify Your Life with Kids
"The authors speak with a warmth and clarity that reassures and informs parents just when they need it most. Theirs is a deft, appreciated touch in the shouting match that so often characterizes parenting books."
—Kyle D. Pruett M.D.,
Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale University,
and author of Me, Myself and I: How Children Build Their Sense of Self
"A light and lovely Zen-influenced collection... Their practical advice is peppered with loving reminders that for many mothers, life is too pressured and too fast." —Fit Pregnancy
“In our fast-paced, high-pressure world, it's easy to get drawn into a stressful, painstaking form of parenting. In this lovely little book, Jessica Teich and Brandel France de Bravo remind us that the best parenting is often simple and instinctive—and they give practical ideas for helping parents stay present and see the wonder and connection, even when changing diapers." —Richard Carlson, Ph.D. author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff