Mothers by Jacqueline Rose
An Essay on Love and Cruelty

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Her story is too totalising, its passion can feel like a free-floating indignation, drawing anything and everything up into its complaint. The sections on Simone de Beauvoir and Elena Ferrante are better because they are more focused – although I began to feel that you could have too much...
-Guardian

Synopsis

A simple argument guides this book: motherhood is the place in our culture where we lodge, or rather bury, the reality of our own conflicts. By making mothers the objects of both licensed idealization and cruelty, we blind ourselves to the world’s iniquities and shut down the portals of the heart.

Mothers are the ultimate scapegoat for our personal and political failings, for everything that is wrong with the world, which becomes their task (unrealizable, of course) to repair. Moving commandingly between pop cultural references such as Roald Dahl’s Matilda to insights on motherhood in the ancient world and the contemporary stigmatization of single mothers, Jacqueline Rose delivers a groundbreaking report into something so prevalent we hardly notice.

Mothers is an incisive, rousing call to action from one of our most important contemporary thinkers.

 

About Jacqueline Rose

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Jacqueline Rose is a lecturer and Director of Studies at Newnham College, Cambridge. She researches and teaches extensively on early modern political, religious and intellectual history.
 
Published May 1, 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 256 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tessa Hadley on Apr 20 2018

Her story is too totalising, its passion can feel like a free-floating indignation, drawing anything and everything up into its complaint. The sections on Simone de Beauvoir and Elena Ferrante are better because they are more focused – although I began to feel that you could have too much...

Read Full Review of Mothers: An Essay on Love and... | See more reviews from Guardian

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