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Dan Kois - How to Be a Family
Author of a heartwarming family memoir in conversation with Nicole Cliffe
In this “funny and honest” (Pamela Druckerman) memoir, Slate editor Dan Kois sets out with his family on a journey around the world to change their lives together.
Dan Kois and his wife always did their best for their kids. Busy professionals living in the D.C. suburbs, they scheduled their children’s time wisely, and when they weren’t arguing over screen time, the Kois family–Dan, his wife Alia, and their two pre-teen daughters–could each be found searching for their own happiness. But aren’t families supposed to achieve happiness together?
In this eye-opening, heartwarming, and very funny book, the fractious, loving Kois family goes in search of other places on the map that might offer them the chance to live away from home–but closer together. Over a year the family lands in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and small-town Kansas. The goal? To get out of their rut of busyness and distractedness and to see how other families live outside the East Coast parenting bubble.
How to Be a Family brings readers along as the Kois girls–witty, solitary, extremely online Lyra and goofy, sensitive, social butterfly Harper–hike through the Kiwi bush, ride bikes to a Dutch school in the pouring rain, battle iguanas in their Costa Rican kitchen, and learn to love a town where everyone knows your name. Meanwhile, Dan interviews neighbors, public officials, and scholars to learn why each of these places work the way they do. Will this trip change the Kois family’s lives? Or do families take their problems and conflicts with them wherever we go?
Dan Kois is an editor at Slate, founding host of the podcast Mom and Dad Are Fighting, and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.
Nicole Cliffe co-founded and co-edited the website The Toast with Daniel Mallory Ortberg. She co-writes a parenting advice column at Slate called “Care and Feeding.”
Additional time info:
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925
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