Jim Knipfel’s recent Slackjaw article, The Statistics of Contempt, has the Brooklyn stroller set in a tizzy. “You know, I’ve been writing this column for almost 22 years now, and while I’ve received plenty of reaction to this or that piece over the years, I can’t remember anything like this – at least not since the early days,” says Knipfel. “People are such sad, scary creatures.” Knipfel’s next book (title tba) to be released by Simon and Schuster next April includes a subplot in which the protagonist is terrorized by “a murderous army of stroller pushers.” When Knipfel’s agent first began pitching the book, she told him she was afraid that parents in publishing would be mortified by the anti-stroller sentiment and it could be a tough sell. Fortunately, it appears S&S has a sense of humor about it.
This ongoing stroller battle which began with the now infamous manifesto and made the New York Times back in February when the slope bar Union Hall tried to ban strollers takes place in publishing’s back yard. There seems to be an anti-baby movement simmering in publishing (could it be the childless can’t take something akin to maternity leave?) so I reached out to the experts at Take Back the Island which was founded by two publishing folk to get their take on things:
“A murderous army of stroller pushers is not fiction to anyone who has ever had the misfortune of daring to be a single person trying to dodge overzealous mothers in Park Slope or any other part of the rapidly-expanding suburb that is New York City. While trendy New York parenting has been written about, the only voices weighing in are the pretentious parents themselves, like Amy Sohn and Adam Gopnik.
We think it’s about time for literature to show these annoying, self-absorbed parents for who they really are. We at Take Back the Island are taking suggestions for what should be the first book to be chosen for the TBTI book club.”
Maybe their first book should be France’s bestselling No Kid: 40 Reasons Not To Have Children by Corinne Maier.
I’d love to see Corinne Maier have a reading at Union Hall and then read all the comments about it on Brownstoner.