A Child of Ones Own: Parental Stories

Paperback | August 9, 2015

byRachel Bowlby

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Among the elementary human stories, parenthood has tended to go without saying. Compared to the spectacular attachments of romantic love, it is only the predictable sequel. Compared to the passions of childhood, it is just a background. But in recent decades, far-reaching changes in typicalfamily forms and in procreative possibilities (through reproductive technologies) have brought out new questions. Why do people want (or not want) to be parents? How has the "choice" first enabled by contraception changed the meaning of parenthood? Looking not only at new parental parts but at older parental stories, in novels and other works, this fascinating book offers fresh angles and arguments for thinking about parenthood today.

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Among the elementary human stories, parenthood has tended to go without saying. Compared to the spectacular attachments of romantic love, it is only the predictable sequel. Compared to the passions of childhood, it is just a background. But in recent decades, far-reaching changes in typicalfamily forms and in procreative possibilities ...

Rachel Bowlby is Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. Her previous books include Just Looking and Carried Away, both about the history of shopping; Still Crazy After All These Years: Women, Writing and Psychoanalysis; Shopping with Freud; Feminist Destinations and Further Essays on Virginia Woolf; and Freudian ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.07 inPublished:August 9, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198728123

ISBN - 13:9780198728122

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Changing Conceptions2. Surrogates and Other Mothers3. Reproductive Choice: A Prehistory4. Foundling Fathers and Mothers5. Childlessness: Euripides' Medea6. A Tale of Two Parents: Charles Dickens's Great Expectations 7. Finding a Life: George Eliot's Silas Marner8. His and Hers: Henry Fielding's Tom Jones9. Placement: Jane Austen's Mansfield Park10. At All Costs: George Moore's Esther Waters11. Between Parents: Henry James's What Maisie Knew12. Parental Secrets in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge13. 'I Had Barbara': Women's Ties and Edith Wharton's 'Roman Fever'Afterword

Editorial Reviews

"[Rachel Bowlby] finds some intriguing antecedents to our world of surrogacy, fertility treatment and adoption (and, brilliantly, in the case of Mary, mother of Jesus, to artificial insemination) in plot twists that are, in essence, novelists' decisions to rupture reality so as better to makeit serve their specific emotional, psychological and artistic needs." --Rachel Cusk, New Statesman 14/06/2013