Ecco has purchased a book from New York Magazine contributor Jennifer Senior called All Joy and No Fun: The Parent’s Paradox, it was announced this morning. The book will follow her popular article from July “All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting.”
Ms. Senior spoke with The Observer today about the article that inspired the book, saying she was surprised the piece garnered so much attention, and that people assumed she had a negative view of parenthood.
“I didn’t deliberately set out to build this inflammatory case for why parents are miserable. It was sort of the opposite,” she said, adding that she was inspired by a series of studies she’d come across about parental unhappiness. “I wanted to unpack why this data was there and in some ways try to debunk it. This data set, which was huge, existed long before my story came along, and something about it was very intriguing because it felt very right and very wrong.”
Her story was even linked on sites not generally concerned with parenting, like BoingBoing and the Freaknomics blog, and though some have described its central argument — that raising children has never been more time consuming — as controversial, in Ms. Senior’s experience most parents seemed to agree with her.
“It wasn’t like there wasn’t criticism of the piece — of course there was and some of it was really good — but I didn’t feel that most blog entries quarreled with the idea that the moment-to-moment life of a parent is less fun than the moment-to-moment life of someone who isn’t a parent,” she said. Many commenters even told stories that bolstered her thesis.
“At the end of the day the value of parenting can’t be captured by social scientists in a lab,” she added.
The book is scheduled for release on the HarperCollins imprint in the fall of 2013.