The Book of Mothers: How Literature Can Help Us Reinvent Modern Motherhood

Pre-Order   Ships May 07, 2024

Product Details

$29.00  $26.97
St. Martin's Press
Publish Date
5.38 X 8.25 X 1.0 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Carrie Mullins is a journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in Parents, Food & Wine Magazine, Epicurious, Tin House, and Publishers Weekly, among other publications. She is a former National Editor at the James Beard Award-winning website Serious Eats and a longtime contributor to Electric Literature, where she covered the intersection of literature and culture. She lives in New York City with her husband and sons.


"The Book of Mothers is a colossal act of both scholarship and sympathy--Mullins leaps between classics, culture, and confession as if it were easy. Here are the books we loved before having kids, masterfully reintegrated into a new mothering mindset. It soothes and electrifies." --Rebecca Dinerstein, author of The Sunlit Night

"The Book of Mothers: What We Can Learn from the Most Memorable Women in Literature is an innovative, thought-provoking book. Weaving together biography, cultural history, literary analysis, and autobiography, Mullins keenly scrutinizes books and traditions that are generally taken for granted. In her examination of the way that famous books simultaneously evoke and shape mothers, Mullins doesn't shy away from the deepest questions about motherhood as an institution and as an experience. This subversive book is sure to spur important and overdue conversations about how we can broaden our sense of compassion and possibility for anyone involved in the act of mothering." --Helen Phillips, author of The Need

"Mullins leads a fascinating journey through literary history, exposing truths about motherhood and the writers whose fictional characters and real-life experiences deeply resonate to this day. Mullins writes with a blazing intellect, a clear eye and a big heart. Her whip-smart, urgent and compassionate book is not just for caretakers--it is essential reading for everyone who wants the world to spin forward rather than back, who knows that maternal well-being is the foundation of a healthy society." --Erin Carlson, author of Queen Meryl

"Part personal reflection, part cultural and literary criticism, The Book of Mothers delivers just enough of each to keep the reader delightfully enthralled." --Darcy Lockman, author of All The Rage

"If our conceptions of motherhood--yes, conceptions--are shaped by the portrayals of mothers in literature, from Woolf to Walker, from Alcott to Atwood, then what possibilities, and what limitations, have we carried with us from these beloved books? How is each character's narrative a lens through which we see our own lives, with either surprising clarity or frustrating distortion? In The Book of Mothers, Carrie Mullins unpacks these questions with rigor, empathy, and a down-to-earth delivery that invites us to do the same." --Maggie Smith, New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful

"The Book of Mothers is timely and evergreen, engaging and infuriating, personal and universal, a necessary reintroduction to some of fiction's most familiar mothers. As she urges readers to consider how the stories we tell were shaped--and by whom--Carrie Mullins offers vital insights into everything from reality television to reproductive rights and points the way to a more nuanced, inclusive, and sustainable vision of motherhood."
--Cecile Richards, New York Times bestselling author of Make Trouble and former president of Planned Parenthood