Thursday, April 01, 2010

What on earth would she wear? *Guest Post by Heather Hartt-Sussman*

Turning Pages Literary Festival is pleased that Heather Hartt-Sussman is sharing her book, Nana's Getting Married, as part of the day long celebration of books for children and teens on May 15th. Heather will be presenting at 3pm at The Musem (10 King St. W. Kitchener).

HEATHER HARTT-SUSSMAN, born in Montreal, graduated from Brandeis University and attended the Sorbonne. She has been a copywriter for BCP in Montreal, a reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, editor-in-chief of international news for TV Guide in French Canada, columnist of the popular “Heather Hartt in Hollywood,” and host of E! Entertainment Television’s The Gossip Show. Nana’s Getting Married is her first book. Heather Hartt-Sussman lives in Toronto with her husband, sons Scotty and Jack, and the family dog.
Why is it that there is virtually nothing on the market for the bride of a certain age to wear? Just google wedding gowns and words like “girly and glamorous” pop up. Asymmetrical tiers of organza in the “trumpet style” may not necessarily be the right fit for say, the woman over 50. It seems like you have be 22 and a size 2 to put one of these confections on!

The only reason I bring this up is because as wedding season approaches, I think about what if the character in my book Nana’s Getting Married were actually getting married? What on earth would she wear?

In the book, Nana decides to hang up her knitting needles and her oven mitts, if only for a while, as she gets to know the new love of her life, Bob, a little better. She’s so smitten, in fact, that not only does her attention-seeking grandson go on a strike of sorts, but she decides to marry him, much to the consternation of the boy.

The events were taken from a situation in my own life when my mother decided to get re-married. At the wedding my then-5-year-old son said: “But grandmas aren’t supposed to get married!” to which I replied; “Who says?”

But it appears that my son isn’t the only one who feels that grandmas aren’t supposed to get married. As my mother shopped for a frock, it was clear she was either going to look like the mother of the bride, or a woman who was trying to look half her age by squeezing into a tulle and organza strapless outfit that looked more like a straight jacket than anything remotely romantic.

She chose the former.

As baby boomers age and people live longer due to great advances in medicine, more and more people with non-traditional senses of style, are going to be tying the knot for the second, perhaps third, and, dare I say even fourth, times. I say it is time the wedding industry thought about this fact and began planning for a blooming new demographic of Nanas who don’t want to look matronly on one of the happiest days of their mature lives!

- Heather Hartt-Sussman

Advance praise for NANA’S GETTING MARRIED:

…this message about open-mindedness and acceptance hits its mark.”
-Publishers Weekly

“…an excellent job of finding the voice of a six-year-old mightily aggrieved little boy…Georgia Graham is an extraordinary artist…. It is a pleasure to find a picture book whose strong message is matched with a light touch…. Highly Recommended.” – CM Magazine

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