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Mothering in context

Citation: Rye, Gill (2009) Mothering in context. In: Narratives of Mothering: Women's Writing in Contemporary France. University of Delaware Press, Newark DE, USA. ISBN 978-1-61149-104-3

This is the second introductory chapter to Gill Rye, 'Narratives of Mothering: Women's Writing in Contemporary France' (Newark DE: University of Delaware Press, 2009). The first section of Chapter 2 situates the study in the context of feminist theorisations of and debates about mothers and motherhood from Simone de Beauvoir’s 'Le Deuxième Sexe' through to the present, from both French/European and Anglo-American contexts. It ends with an interrogation of the key terms and concepts of analysis. The second section places Narratives of Mothering in a literary context, briefly tracing an intermittent tradition of mothers’ narratives (i.e. from the perspectives of mothers themselves), which the new narratives call up and revitalise. It then reflects on the phenomenon of the recent emergence of significant numbers of narratives of mothering in French literature, and compares it to the situation in other national literatures. The following thematic chapters explore the phenomenon via case studies of texts published after 1990.

Additional Information: A post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of one of the two introductory chapters to Gill Rye, Narratives of Mothering: Women's Writing in Contemporary France (Newark DE: University of Delaware Press, 2009). The book was previously published with an ISBN 978-0-87413-040-9.
Creators: Rye, Gill ( and
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Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Keywords: mothers, mothering, narratives of mothering, women's writing, loss, birth, child-death, mother-daughter relations, single mothers, lesbian mothers, maternal guilt
Divisions: Institute of Modern Languages Research
Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing
  • 2009 (published)


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