In 2018 there have been more than 10 new books published about the messiness of motherhood.
What we want from our mothers when we are children is complete submission, writes Zadie Smith in Swing Time. We want our mothers to give every part of themselves. Forget about her ambitions and her needs.
We have lacked a canon on motherhood and now it seems one is beginning to take shape. The new books on motherhood are forcing the culture to accept it as not only one of the big themes of literature but one that is intimately bound up with the concerns it has more readily acknowledged: war, peace, love, loss, the city, the country, murder, madness, race, class, apocalypse, alienation.
How well do we know our mothers? Argonauta is yet another story that opens yet again another dimension of motherhood.
I loved reading Argonauta. It is richly lyrical and complexly plotted, and its historical grounding brought back to me those terrible events of the 1970s.