What My Mother Gave Me is a collection of essays edited by Elizabeth Benedict. In each essay, a woman writes about a gift given to them by their mother. These gifts are more than material -their value generally lies in the meaning and lesson beneath the object if one is given. In many of the stories, the relationship between mother and daughter is fraught but with distance there are still lessons to be learned. The collection is a tribute to motherhood and the varied ways in which women bring their own history to bear on the act of mothering.
Each of the thirty-one essays in the collection is authored by an accomplished writer - contributors include Roxana Robinson, Lisa See and Joyce Carol Oates. In each essay, the author speaks of a gift given to them by their mother. In some cases, mother and daughter share a close relationship and the gift is lovingly appreciated both in reflection and when it was given. But in many more cases, the mother and daughter relationship was difficult and the gifts could only be appreciated upon reflection. There were a number of stories where a generational divide could be seen with a mother who placed traditional expectations on their daughter who was fighting to be anything but traditional. Often the daughter was surprised to realize her traditional mother actually respected the daughter's less than conventional decisions and enjoyed watching her daughter live a life not afforded to the mother.
|Me and Mom - circa 1975|
Read about Elizabeth Benedict's inspiration for the collection and her own gift from her mother
Happy Mother's Day!