Motherland presents a poignant collection of Irish American women's writings about the mother-daughter bond in all its variety: sometimes a source of strength and solace, sometimes of sorrow and resentment, but always and everywhere central to the author's identity.
Acclaimed anthologist Caledonia Kearns has collected more than twenty pieces of fiction and nonfiction to create a rich tapestry of emotion, humor, and truth, featuring the work of contemporary writers, such as Anna Quindlen, Mary Gordon, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mary Cantwell, Martha Manning, Rosemary Mahoney, Susan Minot, and Maureen Howard, along with voices from past eras like Margaret Sanger, Mother Jones, and M.F.K. Fisher.
This book speaks directly to the hearts of every mother and daughter. Irish or not, readers will find treasures to cherish, wisdom to live by, and words that sing with the spirit of the Celtic soul. It's a wonderful gift for St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, or any occasion when eloquence is the order of the day.
Kearns (Cabbage and Bones) has done an exemplary job of assembling this anthology of writings by a wide variety of Irish-American women. Although many of the selections are memoirs and essays concerning motherhood, some fiction is also included, such as the sample from nearly forgotten novelist Ellin Mackay Berlin (Lace Curtain). Of particular interest are selections from the autobiographies of two important Irish-American labor activists: Helen Gurley Glynn (1890-1964) delivers a stirring tribute to her mother, an immigrant whose political activism made her a role model for her daughter; Mother Jones (1830-1930) recalls how she began agitating for the rights of strikers after the deaths of her husband and four children from yellow fever. There is a touching piece by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who recalls her childhood attempts to wish away her mother's serious illness. Mary Cantwell describes the painful birth of her baby. Other contributors in this thoughtful collection include Mary Gordon, Anna Quindlen and birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger. Agent, Victoria Sanders. Author tour. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Kearns, who previously edited an anthology of Irish American women's fiction (Cabbage and Bones, LJ 10/15/97), has collected 24 fiction and nonfiction pieces "to expose what motherhood can be and how daughters experience their mothers." The majority of the selections are reminiscences about mothers, some filled with praise and nostalgia, others with sorrow and anger. The most entertaining ones?Jean Kerr's satiricial essay about her returning adult children and Martha Manning's piece about her daughter's goldfish?focus on being a parent. Some selections lack clarity and effectiveness because they have been taken out of context from novels. Although they are all written by Irish American women, there is often no mention whatsoever of Irish ways or the Irish American experience. This uneven collection contains few outstanding pieces and is appropriate only for larger libraries with a demand for Irish-related materials.?Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TXCopyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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