Now in paperback!
Leslie Cauley in USA Today
"Mother-daughter relationships can be exquisitely complicated, some more than others. That's the message of Who Do You Think You Are?, a chilling and bittersweet debut by Alyse Myers. Now an executive with The New York Times, Myers was raised in a Queens housing project by two deeply flawed parents. As told by Myers, her mother was iron-fisted and vindictive, singling out her eldest daughter—Alyse—for the worst of her sadistic tirades. She also was incensed by Alyse's quest to make a better life for herself, a running conflict from which the title springs. Reconciliation isn't sweet in this absorbing tale of love and forgiveness, but it does eventually arrive." more...
The New York Times Book Review
"In the tradition of Mommie Dearest, which recounted a terrorized daughter’s childhood and escape from the brutal Joan Crawford, Who Do You Think You Are? is the moving story of Alyse Myers’s struggle with a cruel if far less glamorous mother, and of the author’s fight to break free...What emerges from the single-layered narration is a touching, even tender, record of her thorny mother’s difficult life raising three girls alone with few resources." more...
—Jennifer Gilmore, author of "Golden Country"
Library JournalStarred review
"Verdict: Myers provides a moving lesson: we attach to our mothers when we’re young, reject them as young adults, and, hopefully, as Myers does, come to a place where we can identify with them and view them with empathy. This journey has universal resonance for myriad readers. Background: Vice president of brand programs for the New York Times, Myers, her two younger sisters, and their mother grew up in a Queens, NY, housing project in the 1960s and 1970s, Myers’s beloved father having passed away when she was 11. The backdrop of near-poverty and want informs every relationship in the family, but particularly that of Myers and her mother, who constantly berates the young Myers for wanting more out of her life than she had: a failed marriage, widowhood, single motherhood, and a series of low-paying jobs. Myers’s mother is emotionally and physically abusive as well, humiliating her when she tries to confide. The author, however, overcomes her background, obtaining a job at the venerable Times and starting her own family."
—Elizabeth Brinkley, Granite Falls, WA
Terry Teachout at Commentary.com
"One of the many sins for which the baby boomers must someday answer is the extent to which their chronic self-absorption has devalued the memoir as a literary genre. Fortunately, it is still possible to write a good book about an unhappy childhood, and Alyse Myers has done just that with Who Do You Think You Are? (Touchstone, 250 pp., $24)...The art of a memoir is in the telling, not what is told, and the unselfconscious simplicity with which Myers tells her tale conceals no small amount of artfulness." more...
Mya Guarnieri in The Jerusalem Post
"Ultimately, Myers's rediscovery of her mother is what makes the end so profound. Just when the two women are coming together, Myers's mother falls ill. She is on her death bed when it strikes Myers, "And then I realized I didn't want her to die. That I wanted her to live. And that I wanted to start all over." more...
Mary Bruni in The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y.
"Right after Alyse Myers' mother dies, she and her sisters clean out their mother's apartment. It was hard trying to decide what to keep, what to discard. Alyse wants just one thing, the wooden box that sits on a shelf in the back of a closet. She has coveted this box her whole life, never knowing what it contained, but sure that it would change her life. Who Do You Think You Are? is a memoir of mother and daughter. You'll also learn what was in the box." more...