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A common theme in the accompanying comment was how she had emboldened others to talk about the complexities of their own maternal relationships.Now, a new essay collection of the same name edited by Filgate has invited those ideas to be fleshed out, collectively taking aim at the cultural narrative that circumscribes the role of the maternal parent.
It breaks the taboo around discussing the way that our families may not have conformed to the standard set forth and upheld by a long-shared tradition.
This is why we sometimes need to find ourselves in the stories of others.”Another major theme that threads through the collection—both surprising and utterly expected—is the authors’ fathers.
Many of the writers in this book reckon with the way their mothers failed to react to the abusive behaviors enacted by their husbands, even as those behaviors threaten the lives of their children.
It first appeared on Longreads in 2017 and produced a torrent of responses from readers, many of whom shared their own stories.
Filgate (who's also a book critic with whom I have a professional acquaintance) says it took her more than a decade to write the essay, and its subject matter makes clear why.