'My aim for Mother Reader has been to bring together examples of the best writing on motherhood of the last sixty years, writing that tells firsthand of the mother's experience.
Many of the writings in Mother Reader comment on and interpolate one another, in citations, in footnotes, in direct homage. As I was assembling this collection one text would lead to one another, treasure-hunt fashion, the clue provided by an acknowledgement or bibliography. And just as often the writing circles back.
In Mother Reader chapters are excerpted from autobiographies, memoirs, and novels; entries are lifted from diaries; essays and stories are culled from collections, anthologies, and periodicals. My project has been to assemble a compendium or sampler of these ''kindred spirit'' works on motherhood, so that readers, and especially mothers with limited time on their hands, can access in one volume the best literature on the subject and know where turn to continue reading." [Moyra Davey in the introduction]
Writings by Margaret Atwood, Susan Bee, Rosellen Brown, Myrel Chernick, Lydia Davis, Buchi Emeta, Annie Ernaux, Mary Gaitskill, Susan Griffin, Nancy Hutson, Mary Kelly, Jane Lazarre, Ursula Le Giun, Doris Lessing, Ellen McMahon, Margaret Mead, Vivian Montgomery, Toni Morrison, Tillie Olsen, Alicia Ostrker, Grace Paley, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Sara Ruddick, Lynda Schor, Mira Schor, Dena Schottenkirk, Mona Simpson, Elizabeth Smart, Joan Snyder, Elke Solomon, Susan Rubin Suleiman, Alice Walker, Joy Williams, Martha Wilson, Barbara Zucker.