Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Mother Is A Feminist Mother

She is. She really is. She always has been.

c. Sam Wilde/ Mom With Books, Chocolate, Champagne
I grew up in a house full of books. My mother, Nancy Thayer constantly reads (and constantly writes). Her house spills books. And in every book a new world. As a child, I'd sit in the library, surrounded by the names of women writers: Godwin, Rich, Wolf, Greer, French, Friedan, Robinson, Tyler, Chopin, and countless others. Of course, she had men, too. She has everything. She started writing before the days of walking into a Barnes and Noble and finding a novel about a mother's life, a widow's life, a step-mother's life, a grandmother's life. The proliferation of novels that tell the true story of women's lives did not exist when she began writing on a yellow legal pad. She taught me feminism by word, deed, and book--a broad, encompassing, empowering feminism (and never to the exclusion of style, flair or indulgence), but when I think of her as a writer, I realize that she wrote feminism by always telling the honest truth of women's lives. For 22 novels she has done this and it is what she does best. I love all her books. A recent favorite: Summer House. Her first three, in the era before all this chick lit, blazed a trail for the stories that have followed: Stepping, Three Women at the Water's Edge, Bodies and Souls.

We had a wonderful, fun time with this photo shoot. The night before we batted around different ideas. My original idea was to have her sitting on a pile of books fifteen feet high! Reclining on the books conveys what I wanted to without danger of falling (not that it was easy to lounge on stacks of books).

What does YOUR feminist mother look like? Submit your photo for the I Am A Feminist Mother Contest. Get creative. I want to see it all!

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