This week Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction is taking us through the Expert prompt:
Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).
I’ve been thinking about this one for days (hence the late post) and I finally decided on a theme based on the book I’ve just started, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, a collection of essays from fifteen different writers: motherhood and mother-child relationships.
I’ve done some reading on this topic, very casually. I’d have these books on my list and while reading I’d wonder what other books tackled this most central relationship but it’s never been something I’ve searched out. Until now.
The books about motherhood and mothers and children (specifically daughters) that I’ve read:
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin. This was an eye-opening memoir about adoption, specifically the experience of adopting as a single Black woman, specifically looking to adopt a Black boy. Austin reflects on the relationship she had with her own mother, someone who was more like an older sister or aunt, her grandmother who stepped into that mothering role and that when one thinks of motherhood in America, it’s almost always white motherhood.
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung. This one was also about adoption, but from the perspective of the adoptee. Nicole Chung was adopted from Korea by white parents. Her memoir is about her experience being Othered in her own family and her search for her birth family. She’s very candid about the complicated dynamics of her relationship with both mothers.
The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey (and Michaela Angela Davis). This one probably surprises many of you being on this list. BUT Mariah Carey is so open about her relationship with her mother and my mouth was honestly on the ground reading some of what she had to say. Their dynamics were also complicated by race, her mother holding onto her whiteness, asserting that privilege in some really fraught interactions with her biracial daughter.
In Triumph’s Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters and the Price They Paid for Glory by Julia P. Gelardi. This one looks at the lives and relationships between Isabella of Castille and her daughter Katherine of Aragon, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria Hungary and her daughter Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria and poor Princess Vicky. The mothers were all august figures, at the height of their empires, and their daughters all ended up in really sad, horrible situations. I’ve said it 1000 times on this blog but Julia P. Gelardi remains one of my very favourite royal biographers. Her work is well worth your time.
So now you have an idea of what I’ve read, do you have any books for me that might fit the bill?