FREE eBook with Purchase of Our Special Issue for Parents of Teens ($8.50 Value)

FREE eBook with Purchase of Our Special Issue for Parents of Teens ($8.50 Value)

Purchase our Special Issue for Parents of Teens

and Receive a FREE eBook ($8.50 Value)


BT 15 Cover web copy low resPeanut Butter and Naan Cover














Special Issue for Parents of T(w)eens

This issue features essays ranging in topics from teen friendships, teens and technology and teen/parent relationships, plus hard decisions, addiction, and bearing witness. Also includes a special section featuring essays on every age from 13 – 18.  Featured writers: Catherine Newman, Tracy Mayor, and new fiction from Ellen Lessor. Not to be missed.

Peanut Butter and Naan

Peanut Butter and Naan is Jennifer Magnuson’s hilarious look at the chaos of parenting tweens against a backdrop of malaria, extreme poverty, and no conveniences of any kind—and her story of rediscovering herself and revitalizing her connection with those she loves the most.

Excerpt: It’s odd driving along like this on a Tuesday, heading to the world’s most famous monument. I should be at a PTA meeting filled with overzealous volunteer moms who rabidly sink their teeth into the task of raising their children with the bloodlust fueled by latent bitterness over left behind careers…. Instead, I have left all five of my kids in the care of my husband and several people who scarcely speak English on the Bay of Bengal, over a thousand miles to the south of me.

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Excerpt: Peanut Butter and Naan

Excerpt: Peanut Butter and Naan

Peanut Butter and Naan CoverExcerpt: Peanut Butter and Naan: Stories of an American Mom in the Far East.

By Jennifer Magnuson

As my children sleep with their faces pressed against the car windows, spent from the thirteen-hour journey, our convoy of cars sputters past fruit stands piled high with pyramids of lychee fruit and pomegranates. Street vendors taking advantage of the nocturnal business generated by the airport crank heavy wrought iron handles, feeding stalks of sugarcane into a press that spits out a sugary juice called rhuse, which is popular throughout the country.

We drive along a seemingly endless stone wall that is punctuated every twenty meters or so with the beautiful, picturesque script that characterizes Hindi. What could it possibly say? Welcome to India? We pray more than you? It is so foreign! So terribly exotic! I beg my driver to translate the flowery prose that adorns the ancient-looking structure. He scarcely hesitates before informing me, “It says to please, no urinating here.”

We plan on spending the next few days house hunting; our rooms at the Taj Coromandel Hotel are booked and waiting for us. India is nothing without her celebrations, and even though it is now the early hours of the morning, we are greeted by a sight I will always remember:

A beautiful young Indian woman in a striking teal-and-gold sari stands at the entrance of the hotel to welcome our family. Her shiny blue-black hair is tightly wound behind her neck and topped with a fragrant bloom of jasmine petals. In her outstretched hands is a round brass tray inlaid with the whorls and symmetrical designs I will come to associate with the Indian aesthetic. On the tray, a single lotus flower floats in an earthenware bowl, along with a small brass lamp releasing a flickering flame, and next to it an even smaller bowl – like a salt cellar – holds a neat little mound of red powder, called kukumam, which the woman ceremoniously applies to the spot on our foreheads right between our eyes leaving us with the mark of tilaka.

We manage to put the kids to bed by the respectable hour of four, and fingers of sunlight are already peeking through the night’s darkness before Bob and I go to sleep. I’m sure we could have collapsed earlier, but just after we get the kids down, we are increasingly disconcerted by the constant booms and cracks thundering just outside our hotel windows, and I have Bob call our concierge.

I’m frightened, of course, and in my fatigue and culture shock have anxiously conjured a scenario wherein rebel forces are just outside our room, waiting to capture the newly arrived American family and take us to some spider-infested jungle to await their ransom payment.

“This is Bob Magnuson. For God’s sake, it sounds like Beirut, Lebanon, outside. What on earth is going on? Oh. Yes, I see. Okay, thank you. No, no. Good night.” He hangs up the phone and gives me a sheepish look.

“Well, apparently it’s Saturday, and that’s when the Indians get married. All the wedding halls in the city are still letting off fireworks and crackers for the celebrations. I guess this is a pretty regular thing.”

I finger the grainy red dot on my forehead as I try to will sleep to come.

Welcome to India, Jennifer.

This is a sponsored excerpt from Peanut Butter and Naan. Available now.

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