Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2021 M04 6 - 368 pages

The pathbreaking investigation into motherhood and womanhood from an influential and enduring feminist voice, now for a new generation.

In Of Woman Born, originally published in 1976, influential poet and feminist Adrienne Rich examines the patriarchic systems and political institutions that define motherhood. Exploring her own experience—as a woman, a poet, a feminist, and a mother—she finds the act of mothering to be both determined by and distinct from the institution of motherhood as it is imposed on all women everywhere. A “powerful blend of research, theory, and self-reflection” (Sandra M. Gilbert, Paris Review), Of Woman Born revolutionized how women thought about motherhood and their own liberation. With a stirring new foreword from National Book Critics Circle Award–winning writer Eula Biss, the book resounds with as much wisdom and insight today as when it was first written.

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About the author (2021)

Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was an award-winning poet, influential essayist, radical feminist, and major public intellectual of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry, including the National Book Award–winning Diving into the Wreck, and more than a half-dozen of prose.

Eula Biss is the author of three acclaimed books, including On Immunity. She lives in Illinois.

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