MAYA CLAIR LINDEN
Just Between Us
'When are you having children?'
'Why didn't you have another child?'
'Well, I guess that's your choice, but...'
They are questions asked of women all the time. Beneath them is the assumption that all women want to have children, and the judgement that if they don't, they'll be somehow incomplete. And that's only the beginning ... With parenthood taking centre stage in today's moral and consumer culture - and yummy-mummies and domestic goddesses the stars of the show - being a mother, or not being a mother, has never been so complicated. It seems the list of rights and wrongs gets longer daily, with guilt-ridden mothers everywhere struggling to keep on top of it all, and non-mothers struggling in a culture that defines women by their wombs. In this collection of fiction and non-fiction stories, Australia's best women writers reflect on motherhood. Their stories tackle everything from the decision not to have children to the so-called battle between working and stay-at-home mums. From infertility and IVF, to step-parenting and adoption, to miscarriage and breastfeeding, child meltdowns and marriage breakdowns, the stories explore and celebrate the full gamut of the motherhood experience, and give a much needed voice to those who won't ever be called 'Mum'.
Empathetic, supportive and respectful …Or competitive, manipulative and downright bitchy? Or somewhere in between?
In Just Between Us, a host of Australia’s best-loved female writers bare all on this age-old quandary: Are female friendships all-natural and nurturing? Or are some more damaging than delightful? And most of all, what happens when female relationships go off the rails? And who is to blame?
While falling in and out of romantic love is a well-documented experience, losing a friend rarely gets discussed. Which doesn’t mean the pain is less – quite the opposite, as we discover in this extraordinary collection of heartfelt fiction and non-fiction works that put female friendship under the microscope.
Poignant, bittersweet, and often hysterically funny, this collection cracks open the taboo topic of why we don’t always like each other all of the time, and helps us see that it’s occasionally okay to retire as a best friend.
Sexuality is often perceived as shameful, for the dangers it potentially precipitates––rape, incest, exploitation, cruelty, and humiliation––often outweigh its pleasures. Essentialist arguments surrounding sexuality have historically cast the subject as taboo, and even within relationships where sex is sanctioned––namely heterosexual marital relationships––it is often a difficult subject to navigate and negotiate.
In critically examining the plural representations of sexuality in contemporary literature, this book has a distinctly global emphasis, containing essays that interrogate sexuality in the work of not only a number of mainstream American and British writers but also less well-known writers from New Zealand and Canada. All of the chapters owe primary intellectual and theoretical debts to three broad and overlapping domains of critical scholarship and practice: feminism, queer theory, and postcolonial studies.
As the first critical collection of essays to consider the representation of sexuality across such a wide variety of contemporary writing, Sexuality and Contemporary Literature analytically foregrounds insights into the historical and current arrangements of sexuality that contemporary literature provides, while also inviting the reader to imagine other possibilities for the future that literary texts open up.
Pan Macmillan, 2013
Mothers & Others
Pan Macmillan, 2015