Index to Idioms is a lyrical text that takes place on the collapsible boundary between fiction and memoir. It investigates parenthood from a particularly feminine vantage point, and is a love song to the body in pleasure, in illness and in the profound and singular utility of Motherhood. The young son of a suburban woman comes home from school with a list of English idioms from his language arts class. His Mother takes the list and decides that she will use her solitary moments and this list of idioms to tell the story of her life. It is a life that belongs only partially to her, and for the rest belongs to her young son and daughter, to her work as a mother and as a writer for the theater, and to the humorous, cruel or random circumstances that possess any life. Each brief tale is headed by one of the idioms on her son's list and as the idioms mount up, we learn of the Mother's own suburban childhood, of her coming to consciousness as a sexual and intellectual young woman, and of her discoveries of the body, in childbirth, in performance, and in tango with a charismatic and moody mortality.
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Once Ms. Margolin gets your attention, she makes sure to leave you wanting more. -NY Times