For too long the main narratives of motherhood have been oppressive and exclusionary, frequently ignoring issues of female identity—especially regarding those not conforming to traditional female stereotypes. Horrible Mothers offers a variety of perspectives for analyzing representations of the mother in francophone literature and film at the turn of the twenty-first century in North America, including Québec, Ontario, New England, and California.
Contributors reexamine the “horrible mother” paradigm within a broad range of sociocultural contexts from different locations to broaden the understanding of mothering beyond traditional ideology. The selections draw from long-established scholarship in women’s studies as well as from new developments in queer studies to make sense of and articulate strategies of representation; to show how contemporary family models are constantly evolving, reshaping, and moving away from heteronormative expectations; and to reposition mothers as subjects occupying the center of their own narrative, rather than as objects. The contributors engage narratives of mothering from myriad perspectives, referencing the works of writers or filmmakers such as Marguerite Andersen, Nelly Arcan, Grégoire Chabot, Xavier Dolan, Nancy Huston, and Lucie Joubert.