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Book Review: The Maternal is Political
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Book Review: The Maternal Is Political

The Maternal Is PoliticalThe Maternal Is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change, a collection of 43 essays edited by Shari MacDonald Strong, is both a celebration and a manifesto for mothers with hopes of making the world a better place for their children. Its authors include news headliners like Nancy Pelosi, Benazir Bhutto, and Cindy Sheehan; well-known authors such as Rebecca Walker, Anna Quindlen, Barbara Kingsolver, and Susie Bright, and a host of other award-winning writers, many of whom have contributed to the bastions of maternal literature such as Brain, Child, Literary Mama, and Mamazine.

And yes, there is an essay on being a lesbian mom, Kathy Briccetti’s “Adoption in III Acts,” in which she tells of trying to get a second-parent adoption for her partner and their son. Many of us know this tale already—or do we? Briccetti herself was adopted by her stepfather, and her father was adopted by a stranger after his 16-year-old mother could not keep him. Briccetti weaves the three strands of adoption into her essay in a way that gives this commonality of many lesbian couple’s lives a new and broader perspective.