Women look at the relationships between mothers and daughters through a new lens: a daughter’s story of a gift from her mother that has touched her to the bone and served as a model, a metaphor, or a touchstone in her own life.
The contributors of these thirty-one original pieces – all written specifically for this book – include Pulitzer Prize winners, perennial bestselling novelists, and well-known NPR commentators.
Joyce Carol Oates writes about quilts her mother knitted that were a comfort when her husband died; Rita Dove remembers a box of nail polish that taught her to paint her nails in stripes and polka dots; Lisa See, daughter of writer Carolyn See, writes about the gift of writing; Cecilia Munoz remembers the wok her mother gave her and a lifetime of home-cooked family meals; Judith Hillman Paterson revisits the year of sobriety her mother bequeathed to her when Judith was nine years old, the year before her mother died of alcoholism.
Collectively, the pieces have a force that feels as elemental as the tides: outpourings of lightness and darkness; simple joy and devastating grief; mother love and daughter love; mother love and daughter rage. In these stirring words we find that every gift, no matter how modest, tells the story of a powerful bond.
“[A] glittering collection… With such a wonderful group of authors, I knew [this] would be a moving and deeply intelligent book. What I hadn’t expected was that it would also be so suspenseful and so revelatory.”- Margot Livesey
Elizabeth Benedict is a graduate of Barnard College and the author of five novels, including the National Book Award finalist Slow Dancing. She is the editor of the anthology Mentors, Muses & Monsters and is the author of The Joy of Writing Sex. She has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and the Huffington Post.