Writers and Their Mothers (Softcover Reprint of the Original 1st 2018)

Dale Salwak (Editor)


Ian McEwan, Margaret Drabble, Martin Amis, Rita Dove, Andrew Motion and Anthony Thwaite are among the twenty-two distinguished contributors of original essays to this landmark volume on the profound and frequently perplexing bond between writer and mother. In compelling detail they bring to life the thoughts, work, loves, friendships, passions and, above all, the influence of mothers upon their literary offspring from Shakespeare to the present.

Many of the contributors evoke the ideal with fond and loving memories: understanding, selfless, spiritual, tender, protective, reassuring and self-assured mothers who created environments favorable to the development of their children's gifts.

At the opposite end of the parenting spectrum, however, we also see tortured mothers who ignored, interfered with, smothered or abandoned their children. Their early years were times of traumatic loss, unhappily dominated by death and human frailty.

Elegantly assembled and presented, Writers and Their Mothers will appeal to everyone interested in biography, literature, and creativity in general.

Product Details

$34.99  $32.19
Palgrave MacMillan
Publish Date
June 04, 2019
5.83 X 0.59 X 8.27 inches | 0.75 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Dale Salwak is Professor of English Literature at Southern California's Citrus College, USA. His publications include Living with a Writer (Palgrave, 2004), Teaching Life: Letters from a Life in Literature (2008) and studies of Kingsley Amis, John Braine, A.J. Cronin, Philip Larkin, Barbara Pym, Carl Sandburg, Anne Tyler and John Wain. He is a recipient of Purdue University's Distinguished Alumni Award as well as a research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is also a frequent contributor to the (London) Times Higher Education magazine and the Times Educational Supplement.


"In this lively collection of essays, the legacy of maternal blessings (which they mostly describe) is thoughtfully and skilfully unpacked..." (The Guardian's Book of the Week in March 2018)

"What a great project, I just can't believe that no one has done it before." (Times Literary Supplement podcast, March 8, 2018)
"In each case, these women are shown to be different to one another, whether in strength or foible, all wielding a unique influence over their children, and en masse, this makes for a compelling, and varied read. In his collection, Salwak simply asserts that good writing is likely to flourish because of, or in spite of, a mother's influence. In considering how far such an arc of influence might stretch, the enduring strength of these essays ... ." (Julia O'Mahony, The Irish Times, irishtimes.com, April, 2018)