SALE! Save 40% on UNC Press print books during our American History Sale with discount code 01DAH40. See details.

SALE! Save 40% on UNC Press print books during our American History Sale with discount code 01DAH40. See details.

Mothers and Strangers

Essays on Motherhood from the New South

Edited by Samia Serageldin, Lee Smith

264 pp., 6.125 x 9.25

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5167-5
    Published: April 2019
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5168-2
    Published: February 2019

Paperback Available April 2019, but pre-order your copy today!

Buy this Book

In this anthology of creative nonfiction, twenty-eight writers set out to discover what they know, and don’t know, about the person they call Mother. Celebrated writers Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith have curated a diverse and insightful collection that challenges stereotypes about mothers and expands our notions of motherhood in the South. The mothers in these essays were shaped, for good and bad, by the economic and political crosswinds of their time. Whether their formative experience was the Great Depression or the upheavals of the 1970s, their lives reflected their era and influenced how they raised their children. The writers in Mothers and Strangers explore the reliability of memory, examine their family dynamics, and come to terms with the past.

In addition to the editors, contributors include Belle Boggs, Marshall Chapman, Hal Crowther, Clyde Edgerton, Marianne Gingher, Jaki Shelton Green, Sally Greene, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Eldridge “Redge” Hanes, Lynden Harris, Randall Kenan, Phillip Lopate, Michael Malone, Frances Mayes, Jill McCorkle, Melody Moezzi, Elaine Neil Orr, Steven Petrow, Margaret Rich, Omid Safi, James Seay, Alan Shapiro, Bland Simpson, Sharon K. Swanson, and Daniel Wallace.

About the Authors

Samia Serageldin is the author of several books, including The Cairo House and Love Is Like Water, and is an editor of South Writ Large. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
For more information about Samia Serageldin, visit the Author Page.

Lee Smith is the best-selling author of over a dozen books, including Dimestore: A Writer's Life and Guests on Earth. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
For more information about Lee Smith, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"Mothers and Strangers is a rare thing: a book of intelligence, heartbreak, humor, and grace all in one. If you did or do have a mother, this collection of thoughtful, well-told essays is for you."--Therese Anne Fowler, author of Z and A Well-Behaved Woman

"By turns touching, wistful, irreverent, and deeply, hilariously wicked, this book—featuring some of my favorite writers--earns its title. It left me--and I expect it will leave many readers--a ‘little bit homesick,’ in Lee Smith’s words. I’m very glad it fell into my hands." --David Payne, author of Barefoot to Avalon

"A fascinating and variegated account of the way children construct their mothers in childhood and then have to reconstruct them as adults. Mothers and Strangers is a rumination on the delicate interweaving of our mothers’ extreme familiarity with their ultimate inscrutability, offering a multitude of diverse and compelling perspectives."--Sarah Menkedick, author of Homing Instincts: Early Motherhood on a Midwestern Farm