Mother of My Mother
The Intricate Bond Between the Generations
In her bestsellingMotherless Daughters, Hope Edelman articulated the effects of early mother loss with stunning courage and honesty. In doing so, she helped hundreds of thousands of women heal. Now, in her new book--part memoir, part reportage--she brilliantly explores the three-generational triangle from which women develop their female identities: the grandmother-mother-granddaughter relationship. Edelman writes that her grandmother and her mother together "defined the terms 'mother,' daughter,' and 'woman' for me. The three of us, in my memory, are separate yet linked, like sequential pearls on a strand." Drawing from her own experience and the recollections of more than seventy other granddaughters, Edelman constructs an eloquent, insightful narrative filled with stories of women who were each other's nurturers, confidantes, nemeses, and day-to-day supporters, among other roles. At the center of all these stories stands the maternal grandmother. In the pages ofMother of My Mother, readers will meet the "Gentle Giant," the matriarch who exercises behind-the-scenes power in her family; the "Autocrat," who rules her extended clan like a despot; and the "Kinkeeper," the grandmother who acts as the family's social, cultural, or religious center. Then, of course, there is Edelman's own maternal grandmother, the "Benevolent Manipulator," whose love for her family is rivaled only by her desire for control. Edelman's complicated, challenging, and dynamic relationship with her "colorful, opinionated, ubiquitous, stubborn, loving, patient . . ." grandmother is the consistent thread that runs throughout the book.
New York : Dial Press, 1999.
viii, 268 p. ;,22 cm.