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Disjointed Perspectives on Motherhood

Edited by Catalina Florina Florescu

Disjointed Perspectives on Motherhood presents the accounts of mothers who have suffered a major physical and/or psychically traumatic accident, and, as a consequence, their minds and bodies have been drastically changed. They live under the pressure of having discovered the alter ego of their traumatized personality, and now, distressed, cannot embrace their unconditional maternal love. Instead, they enter into a phase where they face the challenge of revealing who they are as persons before accepting or motivating themselves as mothers. The mothers presented in this volume also seem to have another thing in common: their transnational, fluid, female identity as they enter into an imaginary dialog that transcends geographical and temporal perspectives on womanhood and motherhood. This collection introduces and analyzes recurrent words that define a woman's body and mind today: fear, competition, motherhood and career rights, selfishness, ambition, destruction, distance, and identity. By using unprecedented comparative critical approaches such as phenomenological, medical, feminist, and re-enchantinent theories, and by analyzing works from literature, cinema, and visual arts, this collection attempts to reestablish and redefine a canonical concept with the intention to revitalize an otherwise taken-for-granted image and role. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 264Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-0-7391-8317-5 • Hardback • October 2013 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7391-8318-2 • eBook • October 2013 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
Transacting Sites of the Liminal Bodily Spaces. She has also written a memoir entitled Inventing Me/Exercitii de retrait.



1 A Mother’s Loss of Her Daughter’s Face: Ethical Issues of Facial Disfigurement
in Natalie Kusz’s Memoir
Road Song
Gudrun Grabher

2 From Child to Mother: The Disjoint Identity of Charles Robert
Margarita Georgieva

3 Solving the “Crumbling” Mother in Nancy Drew
Michael Cornelius

4 Feminized and Maternal Bodies: Thresholds to Empowered Roles
in Clara Reeve’s
The Old English Baron
Sharon L. Decker

5 The Price We Pay: Motherhood, Marriage and the Struggle to
Class Jump in Dorothy Allison’s
Bastard Out of Carolina
Tarah Sweeting-Trotter

6 Childless Motherhood: the Geopolitics of Maternal Bliss in
Fatih Akin's
The Edge of Heaven
Oana M. Chivoiu

7 Dismatria: The Quest for a Mother-Land in
Igiaba Scego’s Writings
Tatjana Babic-Wiilliams

8 ‘I wanted to hear her called Mom’: The Grieving Mother and
Lost Pregnant Daughter in Sharon Rocha’s
For Laci
Jennifer Musial

9 Unwanted Mother, Unwanted Motherhood:
Competing Maternities in Selby’s
Requiem for a Dream
Zachary Snider

10 “She Who Dwells Alone …:” Mad Mothers, Old Spinsters and
Hysterical Women in William Wordsworth’s Poetry of 1798
Irina Strout

11 Writing, Mothering, and Traumatic Subjectivity in
Sherry Ziesenheim & Matthew J. Darling

12 Looking into the Mirror, Inscribing the Blank Slate:
th Century Women Write about Mothering
Elizabeth Johnston

13 Wise Mother? Insane Mother? Sara Chapman Bull and the Disarticulated
Subjectivities of Turn-of-the Century Motherhood
Jacqueline Brady

14 Maternal Interruption: Reconceiving Political Spaces and Social Agency in Buchi Emecheta’s Joys of Motherhood
Mary L. Cappelli

15 Mother-less: Joan Didion’s Blue Nights and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole
atalina Florina Florescu



About the Authors

A wonderful compendium of interpretive scholarship about arguably our most important relationship: with our mothers, and with ourselves as mothers. By turns lyrical, intense, and always thoughtful, this is textual analysis at its best. Disjointed Perspectives on Motherhood invites us into the dramatic worlds of mothering and trauma, broadly defined, from 18th century English Gothic to Emersonian America—from the Igbo mothers of Nigeria, to the contemporary genre of ‘nobody memoir.’ These are literary essays in both senses of a consistently high standard, offering a wealth of fresh insights into this under-explored yet often misunderstood or ‘disjointed’ figure at the heart of all our lives.
Fiona Giles, The University of Sydney

A wide-ranging study of the literary representation of mothering—highlighting the socio-cultural expectations surrounding motherhood and the often traumatic consequences of these expectations. These essays examine texts of various languages from different time frames and geographical spaces. Taken together, they provide a damning critique of patriarchal society's refusal to understand the myriad experiences of mothering.
Natalie Edwards, University of Adelaide

Disjointed Perspective on Motherhood does the important work of denaturalizing the link between women and motherhood. Wide-ranging in scope, the essays examine women’s experiences of refusing, embracing, or struggling with motherhood, and the vast majority of them will be extremely useful to scholars working in the areas of gender and cultural studies.
Erica Johnson, Pace University

Disjointed Perspectives on Motherhood offers new insight into the maternal experience. Addressing the duality of nature and nurture as they come together in shaping the complex identity of ‘mother,’ it becomes clear how unrealistic and simplistic our expectations have become. The essays in this text open avenues for compassion and curiosity which will foster our understanding of one of the most important roles we may hold in our lives as women—that of mother.
Melissa Sulkowski, Licensed Professional Counselor

Readers will find the individual chapters to be engaging, carefully theorized, and well argued, but it is the collection’s clear, consistent focus on the unifying theme that is most impressive, even as the chapters cover a wide range of genres and historical periods. Moreover, the strong feminist approach to the theme of mothering and trauma/displacement is a very important contribution to mothering studies, which scholars and students will appreciate.
Pegeen Reichert Powell, Columbia College Chicago