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All women writers are daughters, and many of them are mothers. Their natural fascination with the emotional bonds between daughters and mothers has led them to create stories about complex and varied relationships, some autobiographical in nature.
In The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife, Amy Tan tells the stories of American daughters of Chinese mothers who, like herself, find it difficult to share their mothers’ values and cultural traditions. The sexual abuse and poverty that Dorothy Allison suffered figures in her novel Bastard Out of Carolina about a young woman abandoned by her mother for a life of respectability. Jamaica Kincaid depicts the painful conflict between mother and daughter during a girl’s growth to adulthood in Annie John, while Sethe of Toni Morrison’s Beloved is haunted by her decision to murder her daughter in order to save her from slavery. These well-known novels, as well as works by Mona Simpson, Jayne Anne Phillips, Janet Fitch, Julia Alvarez, and Julianna Baggott are featured in Mother-Daughter Relationships in Contemporary Fiction.
The exhibition was on display in the Information Room on the first floor of Morris Library from October 14, 2003-January 23, 2004.
Tags: Women authors; Mothers and daughters in literature