Archives for : Substitute Me

Happy Birthday, “Substitute Me!”

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth. I could give you a list of reasons why I have neglected you so, but do you really want to waste your time reading about my pitiful life? No, you want to get to the good stuff, right?

substitute-me-cover-imageSo, on this day, five years ago, a full year before I birthed babygirl, I gave birth to my first novel, Substitute Me. It’s a story about two women, one White, one Black, one the employer, one the employee. It’s about family life and a women’s right to choose the best life for herself. It’s about race and class and the messy stuff of life.

As my first novel, it’s not perfect, but it’s taken me these five years to read it over again and realize it’s still a damn good read. If you haven’t read it, maybe you’d like to now. I made a book trailer to honor my baby’s birthday with the hopes that people will want to pick up a copy and talk about the story. It’s available in paperback and in digital formats.

Happy Birthday, baby!

“The Other Mothers of Manhattan”

The Other Mothers

Boy, did the cover image on this issue of the New York Times magazine take my breath away. The cover line reads, “The Other Mothers of Manhattan.” It is a photo essay of Manhattan’s nannies. It is the real-life version of my novel, Substitute Me. The accompanying essay by Mona Simpson is hauntingly familiar with all of the issues it raises. But the best part is this audio slide show. Check it out and let me know what thoughts come to mind.

I really dislike the word nanny. It sounds so elitist and it’s not a word I am comfortable using. And yet to call a grown woman a babysitter doesn’t sit well either. What do you call your child’s caregiver? What do you think of this story?


I’m listening.