- Paperback: 356 pages
- Publisher: Seven Stories Press; 1st edition (May 10, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1583220720
- ISBN-13: 978-1583220726
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mother Reader: Essential Writings on Motherhood Paperback – May 1, 2001
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From Library Journal
Davey, a photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, Grand Street, and Documents, bore her first child at the age of 38. When her infant developed colic, she found that she needed a break from the isolation of being a primary caregiver. Books were her lifeline. Her aim in this anthology was "to bring together examples of the best writing on motherhood of the last 60 years, writing that tells firsthand of the mother's experience." Arranged by year of publication, this anthology includes excerpts from journals, memoirs, essays, stories, and interviews. The contributors include an impressive list: Doris Lessing, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Mead, Susan Griffin, Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker, Ursula K. Le Guin, Mona Simpson, Toni Morrison, Grace Paley, and Mary Gaitskill. These authors question the impact of motherhood on women's lives and careers, whether or not mothers have been given a voice in the canon, and the direct experience of motherhood. Several women write about their unequivocal desire not to be a mother. An impressive addition to any women's studies or literature collection. Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"... a master class in the out-of-body, all too frequently out-of-your-mind experience that falls under the prosaic...heading of parenting." -- Ben Dickinson, Elle, July 2001
Top customer reviews
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Particularly recommended for any mother (to be), as it is also a much needed medicine against the sugary sweet and moralistic, as well as often politicized literature on motherhood, pregnancy etc.. I hope that there will be a follow-up with more recent literature at some point. And I hope writers can continue to write about these topics without being caught up in the politics of it...
If you know a new mother who doesn't meet these criteria, well, - perhaps she won't need this book, but for the rest of us, MOTHER READER demonstrates how great literature can also be great medicine, bringing catharsis, healing, revelation, and comfort., enfolding us, assuring us we are not alone.
PS I don't mean to say that you have to be a mother to treasure this collection. For example, I know of no better model for memoir writing.
A great comfort to women who are struggling with the transition to motherhood, and good reading for anyone prepared to witness sacred stereotypes dismantled. Most of the contents truly challenge our established images of Mother, and as a result cause plenty of discomfort to read. But although the shiny, happy side of motherhood doesn't appear much here, one can feel the deep love, commitment, and passion these women have for their families, even if they are willing to admit they just want to be alone sometimes.
If you are looking for women over the years who can commiserate with these feelings via beautiful wording, then maybe this book is for you. However, it isn't for me, personally.