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The Fruits of Labour: Creativity, Motherhood and Self Expression [Paperback]

Penny Summer , Penny Sumner

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Book Description

March 1 2001 Creativity, Self-Expression and Motherhood
"If I had not had a child, half of the one life we get would have been closed to me. I should never have understood my place in a chain of lives, a pattern of history". --Maggie Gee, writer.

"Motherhood exposes women to extremes of sensations and emotions. At times I felt as if my flesh had been stripped off--so exposed, so in love, so frightened". --Ellen Bell, artist.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Women's Press (UK) (March 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 070434629X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704346291
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,224,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

From the practical demands of having children, to the change of identity it brings, this collection of essays by noted writers and artists speaks to women’s experience of motherhood: the need for “a room of one’s own,” the difficulty in balancing a career with the demands of child–rearing, postnatal depression, the “ideal” of motherhood, holding on to one’s sense of self, and choosing not to have children. Vivid and inspiring, this anthology forms an intimate portrait of women’s shared experience and opens a window onto the creative mind.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally powerful! Jan. 18 2008
By Molly Remer - Published on Amazon.com
I was attracted to this book first because of its cool cover image and second because of the intriguing subtitle Creativity, Self-Expression, & Motherhood. I guess I read this at a vulnerable time for me or something, but for some reason I found it a very emotional read. There were several times in which my face sort of involuntarily contorted with pain (like a grimace almost), because of the power of the writing (or my own vulnerability. Not sure which). The book is collection of essays by female writers--most with children--primarily reflecting on their children and their art and the integration of the two (some of the writers were primarily dancers or artists, so the art was not always writing). It included excerpts from several books I've already read such as Of Woman Born and The Blue Jay's Dance. Another was an excerpt from the published diaries of sculptor Kathe Kollwitz who was a German sculptor writing during World War I. One of her sons was killed in the war and she is haunted by it and it was so difficult to read her story (she died in 1967, I believe. I'm fascinated by the timelessness of people's stories and how they can reach out from the past and touch you still. It is startling too how real their lives and experiences were and now they are gone and nearly forgotten. It is a poignant--or crushing--reminder of mortality and impermanence).

One sentence that pierced my heart and made my face crumple with pain was, "Other Mothers' Sons [a painting] was created out of fear and empathy for the mothers who had nurtured and protected young men through infancy and childhood, only to risk losing them in a battle that was not of their making." I'm not sure why this particular sentence touched me so--maybe just as a mother of young sons--or maybe I was feeling particularly emotional. Reading it now, it doesn't hit me quite the way it first did. There was something about this book that just really touched me in an emotional place. I recommend it especially to mothers who also do other creative work in addition to mothering.

This review is primarily excerpted from my book blog, [...]

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