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Portrait of the Mother-Artist: Class and Creativity in Contemporary American Fiction

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What is the relationship between motherhood and art? How do literary texts represent mothers' artistic creativity? How do structures of social class, and its intersections with gender, race, and ethnicity, shape such representations? Nancy Gerber's study addresses these issues through examination of a figure the author identifies as a "mother-artist." Through close reading What is the relationship between motherhood and art? How do literary texts represent mothers' artistic creativity? How do structures of social class, and its intersections with gender, race, and ethnicity, shape such representations? Nancy Gerber's study addresses these issues through examination of a figure the author identifies as a "mother-artist." Through close readings of selected contemporary American fictions--Gwendolyn Brooks's only published novel, Maud Martha (1953); Tillie Olsen's stories "I Stand Here Ironing" (1956) and "Tell Me a Riddle" (1960); Cynthia Ozick's "The Shawl" (1989); and Edwidge Danticat's novel Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994)-- the author explores the development of black and working class mother-artists and analyzes their capacity to transform domestic spaces into sites for artistic expression.


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What is the relationship between motherhood and art? How do literary texts represent mothers' artistic creativity? How do structures of social class, and its intersections with gender, race, and ethnicity, shape such representations? Nancy Gerber's study addresses these issues through examination of a figure the author identifies as a "mother-artist." Through close reading What is the relationship between motherhood and art? How do literary texts represent mothers' artistic creativity? How do structures of social class, and its intersections with gender, race, and ethnicity, shape such representations? Nancy Gerber's study addresses these issues through examination of a figure the author identifies as a "mother-artist." Through close readings of selected contemporary American fictions--Gwendolyn Brooks's only published novel, Maud Martha (1953); Tillie Olsen's stories "I Stand Here Ironing" (1956) and "Tell Me a Riddle" (1960); Cynthia Ozick's "The Shawl" (1989); and Edwidge Danticat's novel Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994)-- the author explores the development of black and working class mother-artists and analyzes their capacity to transform domestic spaces into sites for artistic expression.

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