where the writers are
Mother Tongue
Reviewer: 
Sondra Guttman
Source: 
The Urbanite

"A slim collection of essays, Daughters of Empire gains narrative coherence via an accretion of personal details—Satterfield’s pregnancy and her daughter’s birth, her dissolving marriage and her family history. Moving gracefully from memoir to cultural commentary, the book also chronicles Satterfield’s search for a literary foremother, a woman who (Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton be damned) survived to tell the tale. It begins and ends on the threshold of the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire (home of the childless writer-siblings Charlotte, Emily, and Anne), which serves as a metaphor for the book’s central dilemma: “In one direction lay the graveyard and the church. … And further off, above, the open—the expanse of the moors.”