From the practical demands of having children, to the change of identity it brings, this volume addresses woman's experience of motherhood: the need for "a room of one's own", the difficulty in balancing a career with the demands of child-rearing, postnatal depression, the "ideal" of motherhood, holding on to one's sense of self, choosing not to have children, giving birth, and the empty nest. Alice Walker talks about her decision to have only one child; Sue Woolfe mourns the absence of stories about real motherhood; Adrienne Rich writes of the social acceptance but also expectations that have a child can bring; Jacqueline Morreau connects the different stages in her children's lives with with the development of her art and politics; Sharon Olds paints a realistic portrait of giving birth; and Louise Erdrich brings to mind the "re-experiencing" of childhood's passions and mysteries. This book aims to offer an intimate portrait of motherhood and a window on the creative mind. Contributors include: Maggie Gee, Adrienne Rich, Julia Darling, Julia Alvarez, Louise Erdrich, Alice Walker, poet Sharon Olds; artists Jacqueline Morreau and P.J.
Crook; sculptor Kaethe Kollwitz; and dancer Silvia Ebert.