Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


An Essay on Love and Cruelty

Jacqueline Rose

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



A daring and provocative book-length essay on why we both romanticize and vilify mothers

A simple argument guides this book: motherhood is the place in our culture where we lodge, or rather bury, the reality of our own conflicts—and what it means to be fully human. By making mothers the objects of licensed cruelty, we blind ourselves to the world's iniquities and shut down the portals of the heart.

Mothers are the ultimate scapegoat for our personal and political failings, for everything that is wrong with the world, which becomes their task (unrealizable, of course) to repair. Unless we recognize the role that we are asking mothers to perform in the world, and for the world, we will continue to tear both the world and mothers to pieces.

Mothers is an incisive, rousing call to action from one of our most important contemporary thinkers.

"Jacqueline Rose has no peer among critics of her generation. The brilliance of her literary insight, the lucidity of her prose, and the subtlety of her analyses are simply breathtaking." —Edward Said


Praise for Mothers

Praise for Jacqueline Rose

“Rose challenges women to embrace a new feminism, one that 'would have the courage of its contradictions.'” —The New Yorker

“A surfeit of elegance and intelligence.” —Ali Smith, The Observer

"Ambitious and original." —Elaine Showalter, London Review of Books

About the author

Jacqueline Rose

Jacqueline Rose is the author of numerous books about feminism, psychoanalysis, literature and culture and the Middle East, including Women in Dark Times, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath, and The Question of Zion. She is Codirector of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, cofounder of Independent Jewish Voices, and a fellow of the British Academy. Rose is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books and The Guardian, among many other publications.

Jacqueline Rose

Jonathan Ring

Jacqueline Rose

Read Jacqueline Rose at The Guardian

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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