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  • "If you could buy stock in a book, I would stake all my savings on the success of Allison Pearson's new novel, I Don't Know How She Does It. Here, at last, is the definitive social comedy of working motherhood."
    --Marjorie Williams, Washington Post
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  • "A sparkling novel about juggling marriage, kids, and job (and getting some sleep) . . . Nearly every female lucky enough to have both a child and a byline . . . has strip-mined Pearson's theme: how to squeeze babies, marriage and a high-powered job into a day that cannot be stretched beyond 24 hours. But Pearson's Kate, a brisk, sardonic, loving world beater, has made it all fresh again."
    --Margaret Carlson, Time
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  • ". . . Heartbreaking . . . Anyone who has pumped breast milk in the back of a taxi, or wept quietly into the laundry hamper after arriving home too late for a good-night kiss, will recognize herself in this sharply observed, sometimes painfully sad story about the sordid disparity between the ideal and the reality of 'having it all.'"
    --Kate Betts, New York Times Book Review
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About the Author
Jerry Bauer/Knopf
Allison Pearson
Allison Pearson, named Critic of the Year and Interviewer of the Year in the British Press Awards, is a weekly columnist in the London Evening Standard and a member of the BBC's Newsnight Review panel. She lives in London with her husband, the New Yorker writer Anthony Lane, and their two children.

In I Don't Know How She Does It, Pearson's heroine is Kate Reddy, hedge fund manager and mother of two. She can juggle nine different currencies in five different time zones and get herself and two children washed and dressed and out of the house in half an hour. In Kate's life, Everything Goes Perfectly as long as Everything Goes Perfectly.

Now, everyone at Knopf (with special emphasis on the moms here) is comparing notes on "Kate Reddy moments." These are the times when you are multi-tasking times five, and suddenly, you drop the ball. Maybe it's hilarious. Maybe it's sad. No matter what, it's a story, one that Pearson tells through Kate.

As the creator of the concept, we asked her to share a few of her "personal best." Take a look, then click here to send us YOUR Kate Reddy Moments. The first five people to submit stories will receive FREE copies of I Don't Know How She Does It. Plus, we'll post the best (that means the funniest, freshest and most special) on The Borzoi Reader later this fall.

Pearson's moments:
"There are so many [memories I have of Kate Reddy moments], but one disaster stands out. As a journalist, I had to go and interview Tom Hanks at the Dorchester. It was not long after my daughter was born, and when I held out my hand to shake the movie stars I realized I had this kind of epaulette of banana sick on my black jacket. When you have a baby or little kids, it's a constant battle to keep your work clothes clean, so I identify totally with all of Kate's embarrassments in this area. Luckily, Tom Hanks was so nice and had kids of his own, that he said, "Oh, don't worry, this happens all the time." Which was incredibly sweet, but clearly untrue: not too many people go to meet him covered in regurgitated breakfast!

Some of the moments are not that funny. I went to Los Angeles for almost a week on a job and ended up sitting in a hotel while I was messed around by some very arrogant PR people. Every night, I called my husband and he told me that six-month-old Thomas was "a little under the weather." When I finally got home, I walked into the kitchen and I realized immediately that the baby had been ill. I picked him up and he gave me such a wonderful smileŠ he was so happy to see me -- but he had lost so much weight. It turned out, he had tonsillitis and Anthony hadn't wanted to worry me. I was so incredibly upset. I stood there and wept and all the time the baby was laughing and smiling, just delighted to have his Mummy back. I hated the fact that I'd wasted my time with those worthless vain Hollywood people when my baby boy was ill. That was the worst moment."

  • Read the first chapter of I Don't Know How She Does It.

  • Click here to send us your Kate Reddy moment.

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