Imagining Motherhood in Contemporary Irish and Caribbean Literature undertakes a comparative transnational reading to develop more expansive literary models of good mothering. Abigail L. Palko argues that Irish and Caribbean literary representations of non-normative mothering practices do not reflect transgressive or dangerous mothering but are rather cultural negotiations of the definition of a good mother. This original book demonstrates the sustained commitment to countering the dominant ideologies of maternal self-sacrifice foundational to both Irish and Caribbean nationalist rhetoric, offering instead the possibility of integrating maternal agency into an effective model of female citizenship.
Abigail L. Palko is the Associate Director of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame, USA. A Faculty Fellow of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and an Affiliate Faculty member of the Department of Africana Studies, she researches and teaches contemporary Irish and Caribbean novels, focusing on their representations of motherhood.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Embryonic Beginnings
Chapter 1 - "A mother-of-sufferer": Subversive Mothering in the Caribbean and Irish Traditions
Part I: Rejecting Motherhood
Chapter 2 - The Traumatized Not-Mother
Chapter 3 - The Motherless Not-Mother
Part II: Redefining Motherhood
Chapter 4 - The Lesbian Daughter
Chapter 5 - The Lesbian Mother
Conclusion: "If you can't trust me with choice, how can you trust me with a child?"