by Angelita Reyes
University of Minnesota Press, 2001
Paper: 978-0-8166-2353-2
Library of Congress Classification PN56.3.B55R49 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.933520396


A multifaceted exploration of memory, mothering, literature, and postcoloniality.

Blending the personal and the historical, the practical and the theoretical, Angelita Reyes draws on a wide range of texts from Africa and the African diaspora to establish mothering as a paradigm of progressive feminisms. Reyes creates a comparative dialogue among the fictions of five postcolonial women writers: Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Jean Rhys, and Mariama Bâ.

Reyes discusses the theme of mothering as a human reality, as a paradigm for cultural crossings, and as what she refers to as autobiographical memory-telling. Not only does her work explore the fraught relationships among memory, history, and mothering, but it also questions conventional ways of approaching the often fragmented testimony and artifacts of the lives of women of African descent. Finally, Reyes uses memory-telling to present the autobiography of her own mother, whose extended American family said she "married a Spanish Negro who don’t speak good English." Her blending of authorial, critical, historical, and autobiographical voices in this work extends our understanding of the cross-cultural ideas of mothering.