Interest in the mother-daughter relationship has never been greater, yet there are few books specifically devoted to the relationships between daughters and mothers of color. To fill that gap, this collection of original essays explores the mother-daughter relationship as it appears in the works of African, African American, Asian American, Mexican American, Native American, Indian, and Australian Aboriginal women writers.
Prominent among the writers considered here are Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston, Cherrie Moraga, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Amy Tan. Elizabeth Brown-Guillory and the other essayists examine the myths and reality surrounding the mother-daughter relationship in these writers' works. They show how women writers of color often portray the mother-daughter dyad as a love/hate relationship, in which the mother painstakingly tries to convey knowledge of how to survive in a racist, sexist, and classist world while the daughter rejects her mother's experiences as invalid in changing social times.
This book represents a further opening of the literary canon to twentieth-century women of color. Like the writings it surveys, it celebrates the joys of breaking silence and moving toward reconciliation and growth.
Notes on Contributors
Introduction (Elizabeth Brown-Guillory)
The Problems of Reading: Mother-Daughter Relationships and Indian Postcoloniality (Radhika Mohanram)
A Continuum of Pain: A Woman’s Legacy in Alice Walker’s Possessing the Secret of Joy (Kimberly Joyce Pollock)
“I was cryin’, all the people were cryin’, my mother was cryin’”: Aboriginality and Maternity in Sally Morgan’s My Place (Joyce Zonana)
“My mother is here”: Buchi Emecheta’s Love Child (Patricia Lee Yongue)
(Re)claiming the Race of the Mother: Cherríe Moraga’s Shadow of a Man, Giving Up the Ghost, and Heroes and Saints (Julia De Foor Jay)
The Poetics of Matrilineage: Mothers and Daughters in the Poetry of African American Women, 1965-1985 (Fabian Clements Worshma)
The Mother as Other: Orientalism in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior (Sheryl A. Mylan)
Love and Conflict: Mexican American Women Writers as Daughters (Maria Gonzalez)
Mother-Daughter Relationships as Epistemological Structures: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead and Storyteller (Charlene Taylor Evans)
Disrupted Motherlines: Mothers and Daughters in a Genderized, Sexualized, and Racialized World (Elizabeth Brown-Guillory)
Voice, Mind, Self: Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife (M. Marie Booth Foster)
To Make Herself: Mother-Daughter Conflicts in Toni Morrison’s Sula and Tar Baby (Lucille P. Fultz)
"There is no other study that I know of which considers mother-daughter relationships in the literatures of such diverse non-European cultures."
—Violet H. Bryan, Associate Professor of English, Xavier University of Louisiana