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Mothering Without a Map: The Search for the Good Mother Withinby Kathryn Black
Synopses & Reviews
Every woman's most powerful maternal role model is her own mother. But what about women who grew up feeling "undermothered" — whose mothers were absent, distracted, emotionally distant, depressed, or fell short in some vital way? How are they to become the good mothers they aspire to be?
Kathryn Black, whose own mother's early death inspired her award-winning book, In the Shadow of Polio, probed for answers from experts in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, developmental psychology and social work, biology and anthropology. Black asks: Why are some people able to transcend troubled childhoods and lead satisfying lives and others are not? Through the voices of ordinary women across the country, in all stages and ages of mothering, she learns that there are ways to become a good mother without having had one of one's own. A beautifully articulate blend of memoir, research, and moving interviews with mothers and daughters, Mothering Without a Map is a powerful and self-affirming book that shows how "wounded daughters" can indeed become "healing mothers."
"While psychological jargon...can obscure Black's point, her interview subjects offer other women afraid of motherhood reassurance that it is possible to be a good mother without having experienced good mothering." Publishers Weekly
"This book is certainly written for a subset of mothers or mothers-to-be — although one wonders in reading if we all have not been both inadequate mothers and undermothered — and is a positive reaffirmation for this group." Library Journal
Kathryn Black lost her mother to polio as young girl and, when deciding whether or not to become a mother herself, sought evidence that women don't necessarily need to have had a good mother to be one. Her book offers comfort, wisdom, and guidance to women who, whatever their childhood experience, wish to enjoy for themselves the powerful experience that motherhood can be and most important, give their children the rich mother love they deserve. Kathryn Black has been a journalist for twenty years and is the author of In the Shadow of Polio.
Black lost her mother to polio as young girl and, when deciding whether or not to become a mother herself, sought evidence that women don't necessarily need to have had a good mother to be one. Her book offers guidance to women who wish to enjoy for themselves the powerful experience that motherhood can be.
In the tradition of Motherless Daughters, an insightful and deeply hopeful book about how to become a good mother.
Every woman longs to be a good mother. But what about those women who grew up “undermothered”—whose own mothers were well-meaning but unavailable, absent, distracted, or depressed? How are they to become the good mothers they aspire to be?
In this beautifully articulate book, Kathryn Black, whose own mother’s early death inspired her award-winning In the Shadow of Polio, offers affirming news: One doesn’t have to have had a good mother to become one. Probing for answers from experts in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, social work, biology, and other disciplines, Black reveals that there are other paths to discovering the good mother within. This moving and powerful book shows how “wounded daughters” can become “healing mothers” who give their own children a legacy of security, happiness, and love.
On the web: http://www.motheringwithoutamap.com
Includes bibliographical references (p. -263) and index.
About the Author
Kathryn Black, a journalist for twenty years, is the author of In the Shadow of Polio, named by the Boston Globe as one of the ten best 1996 nonfiction works, winner of the Colorado Book Award for literary nonfiction, the June Roth Book Award for Health and Medical Writing, and a Denver Post bestseller. Black was named 1997 Author of the Year by the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
Table of Contents
chapter one: The Beginning 1
chapter two: Mothers Matter 9
chapter three: Uneasy Attachments 42
chapter four: Ghosts 75
chapter five: Exceptions 102
chapter six: Reclamations 131
chapter seven: Mother Lore, Mother Love 165
chapter eight: The Mother Within 201
selected bibliography 261
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