Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 17, 1995 - 352 pages

Adrienne Rich's influential and landmark investigation concerns both the experience and the institution of motherhood.

The experience is her own—as a woman, a poet, a feminist, and a mother—but it is an experience determined by the institution, imposed on all women everywhere. She draws on personal materials, history, research, and literature to create a document of universal importance.
 

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Contents

Foreword
Anger and Tenderness
The Sacred Calling
The Kingdom of the Fathers
The Primacy of the Mother
The Domestication of Motherhood
Hands of Flesh Hands of Iron VII Alienated Labor
Mother and Son Woman and
Motherhood and Daughterhood
The Heart of Maternal Darkness
Afterword
Notes
Index
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed, and widely taught, Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose. Her constellation of honors includes two National Book Awards, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. Ms. Rich’s volumes of poetry include The Dream of a Common Language, A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, An Atlas of the Difficult World, The School Among the Ruins, and Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth. Her prose includes the essay collections On Lies, Secrets, and Silence; Blood, Bread, and Poetry; an influential essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” and the nonfiction book Of Woman Born, which examines the institution of motherhood as a socio-historic construct. In 2010, she was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award.

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