Writers and Their Mothers

Editors: Salwak, Dale (Ed.)

  • Features contributions from a selection of world-famous authors and academics
  • Includes some autobiographical and deeply personal meditations on the relationship between writer and mother, as well as studies on other writers' relationships with their mothers
  • Features poems from renowned poets on their mothers
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eBook $24.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68348-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $34.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68347-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

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.

About the authors

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.

Reviews

“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)


Writers and their Mothers will appeal both to students and teachers of literature, and the wider market of creative writers and fans of the contributors. The importance of mothers in general – everybody has a mother, after all – makes this an interesting and significant book.” (Professor Adam Roberts, author of The Real Town Murders and Yellow Blue Tibia)

“Dale Salwak's anthology of essays about writers and their mothers is nothing less than an inspired notion.” (Professor William Pritchard, Professor of English, Emeritus, Amherst College, USA)

“A fascinating collection of essays about the mothers of writers. The range of contributors Dale Salwak has assembed, including novelists, poets, and critics, is wide and distinguished, and the volume as a whole is both enjoyable and thought-provoking.“ (Professor Zachary Leader, author of The Life of Kingsley Amis and The Life of Saul Bellow)

Table of contents (22 chapters)

  • Shakespeare’s Mother(s)

    Richmond, Hugh Macrae

    Pages 3-9

  • John Ruskin and Margaret

    Daniels, Anthony

    Pages 11-19

  • Ambitious Daughter: Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother

    McFall, Gardner

    Pages 21-30

  • Walt Whitman and His Mother

    Silverman, Kenneth

    Pages 31-37

  • The Maternal Embrace: Samuel Beckett and His Mother May

    Drabble, Margaret

    Pages 39-49

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68348-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $34.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-68347-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Writers and Their Mothers
Editors
  • Dale Salwak
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-68348-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-68348-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-68347-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 258
Topics