The MotherVerse Interview

February 23rd, 2009

Writer Kris Underwood recently interviewed Elrena and Caroline for MotherVerse; here’s an excerpt from the interview:

MV: In culling through the essays, was there any one in particular that affected you personally?

Caroline: When people ask me how we chose the essays, I always say that we chose the essays that made us cry, and the ones that made us laugh. And I have read these essays many, many times now, and they still touch me the way they did when I first put each one in the “Yes” pile. Leah Bradshaw writes about falling asleep nursing her daughter, and waking to find that a window has blown open and they are dusted with snow— it’s an image of the universal absorption and exhaustion of new motherhood that has stayed with me. I quote the title of Libby Gruner’s essay, “I Am Not A Head On A Stick,” all the time, since it sums up so succinctly the prevailing attitude women are challenging in academia. And I love the affirmations in the essay “Momifesto;” there are two in particular that thrum through my head, depending on my mood: “You are maternally beautiful” and “You can promote motherhood professionally, and it is a political statement.”
Elrena: I read through the bulk of our submissions in the first few days after my son was born, (don’t ask me why, it seemed like a good idea at the time!) so I was pretty affected by anyone writing about having a baby, or nursing, or anything else I could even remotely apply to my situation. What I found, though, was that I saw bits and pieces in each essay we ultimately chose that spoke directly to me. Now, these essays have embedded themselves so deeply in my brain that I often find myself thinking of passages—kind of like the way that song lyrics off of a really good album stick in your mind. Rosemarie Emanuele writes about other mothers helping her to see that her child was not a “behavioral outlier,” I think of that phrase when my children have tantrums; Anjalee Deshpande Nadkarni writes of her life that “every day is a risk and a possibility,” I think that’s a great quote first thing in the morning!

Click on over to MotherVerse to read the rest!