Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured titles, special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Subscribe to receive special offers, monthly books suggestions, seasonal selections, and more!

Maternal Regret: Resistances, Renunciations, and Reflections
Maternal Regret: Resistances, Renunciations, and Reflections

Maternal Regret: Resistances, Renunciations, and Reflections

Edited by Andrea O'Reilly



280 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $31.95 (US $31.95)

Publication Date: July 2022

ISBN 9781772583793

Rights: US

Demeter Press (Jul 2022)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: July 2022


This collection considers how maternal regret, as it is conveyed in remorse, resentment, dissatisfaction, and disappointment, troubles the assumptions and mandates of normative motherhood and how it is explored and critiqued in creative non-fiction, film, literature, and social media. Maternal regret is also examined in relation to the estrangement of mother and child and the remorse and grief felt by both mothers and children caused by the abandonment of mother or child. Finally, the collection explores how regret opens the space for maternal erudition, enlightenment, and evolution; and makes possible maternal empowerment. The book is organized by way of these three sections: the first "Resistances" examines how maternal regret as conveyed in remorse, disillusionment, and resentment counters and corrects normative motherhood; the second, "Renunciations" looks at how regret is experienced in mother-child abandonment; and the third, "Reflections" explores how regret may be an opportunity for maternal knowledge and power. Overall, the collection serves to debunk and destroy the final taboo of normative motherhood, that of maternal regret. Mothers voicing regret, as journalist Kingston writes, "signals a large groundswell of maternal reckoning, [one that] has been compared to the #MeToo campaign."


"This collection asks us to do a hard thing: to look at, not away, from the monstrous mother. In probing essays, the contributors and editors ask readers to consider what conditions create the monstrous mother, and if so-called monstrous mothers really are monstrous. Products of the patriarchal construction of motherhood, victims of neoliberal privileging of the individual over community (and lack of societal supports), as well as personal variables create the monstrous mother, and all such mothers in this collection are deserving of another look, and often, our empathy. An important collection for those who study mothers, and those who wish to see social growth and change in the promulgation of empowered mothering." —Nicole L. Willey, Professor of English, Kent State University  

"Monstrous Mothers: Troubling Tropes is a difficult read, but that is only because the authors in this edited volume challenge readers to hear the stories of mothers who have been deemed irredeemable, transgressive, incomprehensible--in short, monstrous. In each chapter the authors trouble this narrative as they expose readers to maternal violences of loss, abandonment, ambivalence, abuse, and murder in historical and contemporary texts and media. The deeper we engage these rich, diverse analyses the more we come to understand that the horror is not the monstrosity of the mothers, but their scapegoating as bad mothers. By showing us who the mothers are, by unpacking the context within which they have mothered, the authors in this volume ultimately expose the unsustainable, nay, monstrous lies we have been told about motherhood itself." —Michelle Hughes Miller, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, University of South Florida  

"Monstrous Mothers peers into the dark cavern of mothers who are too often shunned without exploration or nuance." —Katie B. Garner, Executive Director, IAMAS

Author Biography

Dr. Andrea O'Reilly is Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at York University, founder/editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative and publisher of Demeter Press. She is co-editor/editor of twenty books including Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond and The Routledge Companion to Motherhood and author of three monographs including Matricentric Feminism: Theory Activism and Practice. She is twice the recipient of York University's Professor of the Year Awardâ for teaching excellence and is the 2019 recipient of the Status of Women and Equity Award of Distinction from OCUFA (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations).She is the mother of three adult children.