UC Berkeley press release

NEWS RELEASE, 12/16/97

Note on the book Our "Mother's Spirits"

by Patricia McBroom

BERKELEY -- The book Our Mothers' Spirits: On the Death of Mothers and the Grief of Men (see attached press release) has a picture of former Princess Diana and her two sons on the cover, which plunged the book into controversy when it was published in late October.

Time Magazine published a photo of the book under the headline "Di-ploitation Watch." Entertainment Weekly followed suit with not one but two items focused on the cover in separate issues. Publishers Weekly weighed in with a column of industry inside gossip, and quoted ReganBooks marketing director John Ekizian's defense of the Diana tie-in. "We did it to bring attention to what was a very positive aspect of the whole Diana tragedy, the sharing of grief" around the world

Meanwhile on Dec. 1, Time Magazine published UC Berkeley sociologist Bob Blauner's reply in the magazine's letters column, which said in part:

"... don't you owe your readers some clue as to whether the contents of the book, Our Mothers' Spirits, merits reading? After all, this is an unusual collection by 42 men writing from the heart about the lives and deaths of their mothers. And it includes 21 works from some of our finest literary masters -- Updike, Cheever and Stegner, to name a few."

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