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Books About Mothers in Literature


Mothers are an important part of our lives. They bring us into this world; and they've played important roles in literature--both as the mothers of famous writers, and as characters in our favorite novels. Read about love, loss, memory, and more--all related to our mothers in literature.

1. Talking of Mothers: Poems for Every Mother

by Douglas Brooks-Davies (Editor). Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc. Discover the joys, sorrows, and all the tenderness in motherhood. Read about the mothers in myth, legend, religion, and beyond.
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2. Mothers Through the Eyes of Women Writers

by Judith Shapiro (Editor). Red Wheel/Weiser. This collection features essays, stories and poems--all from daughters, who are women writers. Get their perceptions of motherhood through these works of literature.
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3. Mother: Famous Writers Celebrate Motherhood

by Claudia O'Keefe. Simon & Schuster. With stories, poems, and essay, these writers unearth the complex relationship of mothers with children, as they explore what it is to be a mother.
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4. Romanticism, Maternity, and the Body Politic

by Julie Kipp. Cambridge University Press. From the publisher: "Kipp's primary concern is to underline the ways that writers used representations of mother-child bonds as ways of naturalizing, endorsing, and critiquing Enlightenment constructions of interpersonal and intercultural relations."
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5. Suffering Mothers in Mid-Victorian Novels

by Natalie J. McKnight. St. Martin's Press. In this book, McKnight studies mother characters in the novels of Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Thackeray, and George Eliot. In character, these women vary from the "ambivalent to the monstrous, the angelic to the absent."
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6. Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England

by Mary Dockray-Miller. Palgrave. "Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England" sheds new light on Bede, the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," and "Beowulf"--paying particular attention to the "world of violence and intrigue."
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7. Mothering Daughters

by Susan C. Greenfield. Wayne State University Press. In this book, Ms. Greenfield follows the rise of the novel--from Frances Burney to Jane Austen. She explores the construction of female characters, with missing mothers and suffering daughters.
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8. Inventing Maternity

by Susan C. Greenfield (Editor), and Carol Barash (Editor). University Press of Kentucky. From the publisher: This collection surveys medical texts, political tracts, religious writings, poems, novels, slave narratives, conduct books, and cookbooks.
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9. Is It Really Mommy Dearest?: Daughter-Mother Narratives in Young Adult Fiction

by Hilary S. Crew. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Crew discusses Rapunzel, Snow White, and other characters in daughter-mother narratives.
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10. Leaving the M/Other: Whitman, Kristeva, and Leaves of Grass

by Beth Jensen. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Read about how Walt Whitman explores the role of "mother" in his most famous collection of poetry.
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