The Woman Who Gave Birth to Her Mother: Seven Stages of Change in Women's Lives

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9780670880966: The Woman Who Gave Birth to Her Mother: Seven Stages of Change in Women's Lives

With the "eloquence of a poet and the gifts of a born therapist" (San Francisco Chronicle) Kim Chernin offers a new paradigm for women's development as mature, creative, and free adults. "Giving birth to one's mother" is a symbolic act of self-creation that opens the door to autonomy and achievement; it is a model for breaking the pattern of the endless cycles of blame and forgiveness of mothers within which many women live out their lives. Tales from Chernin's clinical practice vividly illustrate this model. One client's question, "If I tell you that a daughter is looking for me, a daughter who died when she was born, can you make sense of that without thinking I am crazy?" is the beginning of her journey. Another woman, adopted into an abusive family, embarks on an unlikely--but ultimately life-changing and successful--search for her birth-mother. Chernin's work is groundbreaking and necessary; this is a book that belongs on the shelves alongside Hope Edelman, Mary Pipher, Carol Gilligan and Mary Catherine Bateson as a major contribution to how women understand their lives.

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Review:

Kim Chernin, author of The Hungry Self and In My Mother's House, has already written extensively about her own mother. She has also collected countless mother stories--stories that have the force of myth that are told by women about their mothers. In this intriguing book, Chernin asserts that in order for daughters to become complete individuals, they must, in some sense, psychically "birth" their own mothers. In explaining this provocative theory, she presents characteristic elements of the mother story, including idealization, blame, guilt, forgiveness, and letting go ("giving birth"). She then challenges the reader to trace these elements and identify the themes in six "real but invented" portraits of women and their mothers. During this moving and sometimes confusing process, readers will eventually come to a new level of understanding about the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship--leaving any candy-coated, romanticized vision far behind. The Woman Who Gave Birth to Her Mother--beautifully written and often painful to read--generates more questions about mothers and daughters than it answers, but you'll never look at a mother-daughter story in the same way again. --Ericka Lutz

About the Author:

Kim Chernin, Ph.D. has won acclaim for her numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including The Obsession, In My Mother s House (Nominated for Chronicle Critics Award and Chosen as Alice Walker s Favorite Book of the Year in 1983 New York Times), The Flame Bearers (1986 New York Times Notable Book) and National Best Seller The Hungry Self.

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Kim Chernin
Published by Viking Adult (1998)
ISBN 10: 0670880965 ISBN 13: 9780670880966
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Book Description Viking Adult, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0670880965

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Chernin, Kim
Published by Viking Adult (1998)
ISBN 10: 0670880965 ISBN 13: 9780670880966
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
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Book Description Viking Adult, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110670880965

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