Writers and Their Mothers

Writers and Their Mothers

Hugh Macrae Richmond

Dale Salawak: editor

Palgrave Macmillan

Writers and Their Mothers    Palgrave Macmillan  1 March 2018

Editor: Salwak, Dale (Ed.)

  • Features contributions from a selection of world-famous authors and academics
  • Includes some autobiographical and deeply personal meditations on the relationship between writer and mother, as well as studies on other writers' relationships with their mothers
  • Features poems from renowned poets on their mothers

To Buy this book:

eBook $24.99  price for USA (gross)

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  • ISBN 978-3-319-68348-5
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices

Hardcover $34.99  price for USA

  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (M-F 8:30am – 5:30pm).

ISBN 978-3-319-68347-8

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About this book

Ian McEwan, Margaret Drabble, Martin Amis, Rita Dove, Andrew Motion  and Anthony Thwaite are among the twenty-two distinguished contributors of original essays to this landmark volume on the profound and frequently perplexing bond between writer and mother. In compelling detail they bring to life the thoughts, work, loves, friendships, and influence of mothers on their literary offspring, from Hugh Richmond’s view of Mary Arden’s on Shakespeare down to the present day.

Many of the contributors evoke the ideal with fond and loving memories: understanding, selfless, spiritual, tender, protective, reassuring and self-assured mothers who created environments favorable to the development of their children’s gifts. At the opposite end of the parenting spectrum, however, we also see tortured mothers who ignored, interfered with, smothered or abandoned their children.  Their early years were times of traumatic loss, unhappily dominated by death and human frailty. Elegantly assembled and presented, Writers and Their Mothers will appeal to everyone interested in biography, literature, and creativity in general.

About the editor

Dale Salwak is Professor of English Literature at Southern California’s Citrus College, USA. His publications include Living with a Writer (Palgrave, 2004), Teaching Life: Letters from a Life in Literature (2008) and studies of Kingsley Amis, John Braine, A.J. Cronin, Philip Larkin, Barbara Pym, Carl Sandburg, Anne Tyler and John Wain. He is a recipient of Purdue University's Distinguished Alumni Award as well as a research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He contributes to the (London) Times Higher Education magazine and the TLS.


Writers and their Mothers will appeal both to students and teachers of literature, and the wider market of creative writers and fans of the contributors. The importance of mothers in general – everybody has a mother, after all – makes this an interesting and significant book.” (Professor Adam Roberts, author of The Real Town Murders and Yellow Blue Tibia)

“Dale Salwak's anthology of essays about writers and their mothers is nothing less than an inspired notion.” (Professor William Pritchard, Professor of English, Emeritus, Amherst College, USA)

“A fascinating collection of essays about the mothers of writers. The range of contributors Dale Salwak has assembed, including novelists, poets, and critics, is wide and distinguished, and the volume as a whole is both enjoyable and thought-provoking.“ (Professor Zachary Leader, author of The Life of Kingsley Amis and The Life of Saul Bellow)


Hugh Macrae Richmond
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