Writing About Mothers and Daughters

I’ll be the moderator for a discussion about writing mother-daughter narratives at Bindercon on October 30th at NYU. Bindercon is a conference organized by Out of the Binders Inc., a community for women and gender non-conforming writers. You can learn more here.

Motherhood is a sacred institution in most cultures and is rarely discussed in a negative or even honest light. The idea behind this panel is to create a discussion that goes beyond the platitudes and simplistic, idealized portrayals of what is a primal and deeply formative relationship; one that is often rife with conflict and ambivalence. Mainstream books about the mother-daughter bond can leave certain readers out in the cold, with a sensation of a deep loss and loneliness. Conversely, writing about love, acceptance, and gratitude for our mothers and daughters often only scratches the surface of the meaning they hold in our lives. It makes perfect sense to try to open a vein and try to grapple with the subject, but how can we write about our mothers and daughters without causing trouble? What do we risk by choosing to tell our version of the story? Our panel will address their individual approaches, both in terms of craft and in life.

Sandra Rodriguez Barron, Elizabeth Crane, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Betsy Lerner, Beth Boyle Machalan



About Sandy Barron

Author of The Heiress of Water (HarperCollins, 2006) and Stay With Me (Harper, 2010)
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