Dangerous Ideas about Mothers review: Essays on the problems with the maternal

Dangerous Ideas About Mothers
Eds., Camilla Nelson & Rachel Robertson
​UWAP, $29.99

This rambunctious collection of essays explodes popular ideas about motherhood to excavate space for the multitudinous ways of being a mother. What bothers Maria Tumarkin about many "momoirs" is that the conventional form of the memoir is not innovative enough to "blast things open' and allow motherhood to be understood in all its complexity. It wasn't until Danielle Wood had three children that she realised she would be "required to be three mothers". This leads her to reflect on how the debate about good mothering arises from the infantile social fantasy that all our needs can, and should be, met. Emma A. Jane's plan to write a "bolshie corrective" to the stereotypes about single motherhood went awry when she almost choked on a prawn. Her updated tale about "riding out a near-death experience solo" more than does the job in defiantly memorable style.

Dangerous Ideas about Mothers, edited by Camilla Nelson and Rachel Robertson, UWA Press, $29.99.

Dangerous Ideas about Mothers, edited by Camilla Nelson and Rachel Robertson, UWA Press, $29.99.

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