Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mother Talk: The Maternal Is Political

The Maternal Is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood & Social Change
Edited by Shari MacDonald Strong
Seal Press
352 pgs, $15.95
ISBN: 1-58005-243-6

Something definitely changes when you become MOTHER. Besides all the physical,emotional and mental aspects; the sleepless nights, cranky babies, the thought of being able to fit into your pre-baby jeans. You become more aware of the world and your place in it, of what is happening around you. You see things with a mother's eye. One of the essays, In Albania, by Mona Gable, captures this new view absolutely. Here she recounts her time in Albania as a reporter during the Kosovo conflict-Balkan wars with the new eyes of a mother: "The lens of motherhood would filter everything I was to witness.....".

There were a few other essays that affected me personally. Ona Gritz's Because I'm Not Dead, recalling her own experiences with disability while caring for her child; Amy Jenkins' One Hundred and Twenty-Five Miles, Helaine Olen's The Mean Moms where she tackles the old mama clique subject; and Mona Gable's essay mentioned above, all resonated with me on different levels.

Among the contributors, I was happy to see I recognized all the names, having read their work someplace else or read about them in the newspapers (most likely CNN or elsewhere across the Internet); as well as having worked with a few.

Overall, it is a very necessary book- very emotional, very raw- necessary reading for every mother.

Shari MacDonald's Website
The Maternal Is Political at Amazon
More Reviews at MotherTalk


  1. I'm glad to hear a mother with a disability was included. I am hearing impaired, and my son is blind and has Asperger's. Disability legislation is a high priority for my family.

    1. Yes, I was glad they did too. A lot of mother's stories about disability is often overlooked. Maybe not so much today, but still significant.