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4.71  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Literary Nonfiction. "MOTHERs is a howling storm of a book. In this desperately digressive essay, the poet Rachel Zucker narrates her complicated path to becoming and not becoming her mother, the storyteller Diane Wolkstein. Zucker turns her intelligent eye outward and inward, including everything she knows about mothers, stories, poems, and consequence itself. In mythic t ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published December 15th 2013 by Counterpath Press
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Average rating 4.71  · 
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 ·  98 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An utterly original memoir by a poet who makes candor into an aesthetic approach. I know it's odd to say that such a thinky collage is be a page-turner, but I read this book breathlessly. Zucker approaches her mentors with sheer intelligence and angst, as we all do. I've never read anyone who has gotten at the complexity of female influences the way Zucker does. I was moved almost to tears by her comments on Alice Notley, a poet I also deeply admire.
Peter Landau
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There’s a lot I don’t know. Stories fill those gaps, either mine or others, and yet there are always gaps. Everything constructed is a fiction because the opposite is too unruly and impossible a task. One character can tap the whole, but only from their own perspective.

Rachel Zucker taps into her relationship with her biological mother, her mentor mothers, the myth of mothers, herself as a mother of three boys, but no daughter, and another m-word filtering it all through its bias: memory. A poe
Sigrun Hodne
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book several times and will continue reading it - . I've never read anything quite like it, speaking to heart & mind like this book does, touching my sense of life; or what it is to be a daughter, a mother & a writer. ...more
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
4.5 stars. This book is powerful -- it's the author's raw, aching attempt to understand the complexity of a challenging mother-daughter relationship. While at it, she also explores the strange hurts that can occur in mentor-student relationships.

This book is a combination of poem and memoir. I've never read anything like it. I'm not sure how I feel about those final pages of the book (the letter and the epilogue). Very intense. Overall a great read.
Rachel B
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
So honest and beautiful
Adam Wilson
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, lyrical, and deeply moving meditation on motherhood, both biological and literary.
Leigh Stein
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Made me want to read all her other books.
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, trauma, poetry
I've found in this book extremely helpful frameworks for looking at memory and trauma: though Zucker is talking about motherhood and childbirth, the same examples work for other kinds of trauma or memory lapses. Writing in the elliptical style I call "poetry-essay", somewhat similar in form to Nelson's "The Argonauts" or Rakin's "Citizen", this selection of pieces describes Zucker's fraught relationship with her mother, a well-known writer, and her relations to other female mentors, including th ...more
Delia Rainey
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
memoir in notes, diaries, snippets of rachel's childhood dreams written down by rachel's mother who was a professional story-teller, grief of the passing of caretakers, babies being born and unlatching, and all along looking for mothers everywhere. i also consider my fav writers (alice notley included) to be my mothers, and my mother is also a writer, except a very secretive and humble one. i appreciated how much rachel distrusts her memory, and how the stories we tell ourselves our whole lives ...more
Megan Alyse
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mfa
One of those books you won’t ever forget. An utterly all-encompassing and brilliant exploration of motherhood, grief, and female balance. This book made me sob and laugh. So original and so beautiful.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, honest, searing exploration of motherhood, daughterhood, and memory. It felt like the author handed me her heart on a dinner plate.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strangely compelling. I had trouble putting it down.
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Rachel Zucker is the author of Museum of Accidents (Wave Books, 2009), which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of The Bad Wife Handbook (Wesleyan University, 2007), The Last Clear Narrative (Wesleyan University, 2004), Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan University, 2003), and Annunciation (The Center for Book Arts, 2002), as well as the co-editor (with ...more

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