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The Maternal Is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Changeby Shari MacDonald Strong
Synopses & Reviews
Exploring the vital connection between motherhood and social change, The Maternal Is Political features thirty powerful, hard-hitting literary essays by women who are striving to make the world a better place for children and families — both their own and other women's — in this country and globally.
Each contributor tackles complex issues facing mothers and society today. Whether it's a mother teaching her children to live ecologically responsible lives, a mother struggling to get out of poverty while raising her kids, a mother's response to her child being sent to Iraq, or a mother voting for the first time, each writer forges the link, the crucial relationship, between the personal (life with family) and the political (life in the world) to give voice to, and thus empower, other women to realize and seize their collective political clout as mothers. Written by and for mothers, The Maternal Is Political is crafted to help motivate us to discover, appreciate, and use with greater effectiveness our tremendously powerful (and too often underutilized) political votes and voices to create positive social change.
"In a raw and emotional literary anthology, 30 women express their frustrations about motherhood, their disappointment with unsupportive work environments and their deep desire for social change. In her debut effort as an anthology editor, Strong brings together voices of veteran and first-time writers in a cacophony of cries that mothering isn't just personal, it's political. The stories include Annie Downey, a struggling mother on welfare ; Jennifer Margulis and her husband who, unable to reconcile full-time work and parenting, quit office work and begin a home business; and Helaine Olen's horror stories of 'mean moms' in playgroups who look down on stay-at-home mothers. Anne Lamott writes of the difficulty of espousing a pro-choice position before a largely Catholic audience. This book has a liberal bent, and happy, content mothers don't get much airtime. Young women considering motherhood may be taken aback by the rage and unchecked anger in some of the essays and the lack of solutions presented. But if shock spurs action, this anthology has done its job. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Exploring the vital connection between motherhood and social change, The Maternal Is Political features more than 40 powerful, hard-hitting literary essays by women who are striving to make the world a better place for children and families — both their own and other womens — in this country and globally.
From the mom deconstructing playground "power games" with her first-grade child, to the mother who speaks out against misogyny during an awkward road trip with her college-age daughter and friends, to the mother of sons worrying about the threat of a future military draft, The Maternal Is Political brings together the voices of women who are transforming the political and social: one child, one babysitter, one peace march at a time.
About the Author
Shari MacDonald Strong is a freelance writer who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her essay "On Wanting a Girl" appeared in the Seal Press anthology It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters (edited by Andrea J. Buchanan). She writes the "Zen and the Art of Child Maintenance" column about motherhood and spirituality for Literary Mama (www.literarymama.com), serves as editor of the creative nonfiction department at Literary Mama, writes an ongoing column for Mamazine (www.mamazine.com), and is the organizer for Mother Talk™ events (www.mothertalk.org) in Portland, Oregon. Shari worked as an editor and copywriter in the publishing industry for fifteen years (most recently as a freelance contractor for a division of Random House), and her writing has appeared in a number of publications including Geez magazine (www.geezmagazine.org). She recently has appeared as a guest blogger at Leslie Morgan Steiner's "On Balance" blog at www.WashingtonPost.com as well as at Austin Mama.
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