Fiction books featuring “bad” mothers

parenthood mother-hood bad-mothers
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Lives of Girls and Women

by Alice Munro

About the book:  WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 The only novel from Alice Munro-award-winning author of The Love of a Good Woman--is an insightful, honest book, "autobiographical in form but not in fact," that chronicles a young girl's growing up in rural Ontario in the 1940's. Del Jordan lives out at the end of the Flats Road on her father's fox farm, where her most frequent companions are an eccentric bachelor family friend and her rough younger brother. When she begins spending more time in town, she is surrounded by women-her mother, an agnostic, opinionted woman who sells encyclopedias to local farmers; her mother's boarder, the lusty Fern Dogherty; and her best friend, Naomi, with whom she shares the frustrations and unbridled glee of adolescence. Through these unwitting mentors and in her own encounters with sex, birth, and death, Del explores the dark and bright sides of womanhood. All along she remains a wise, witty observer and recorder of truths in small-town life. The result is a powerful, moving, and humorous demonstration of Alice Munro's unparalleled awareness of the lives of girls and women.

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Gilgamesh

by Joan London

About the book:  'Strong, streamlined and remarkably lovely' - Francine Prose, The New York Times Gilgamesh is the epic story of a mother's search for the father of her child - from Australia to Armenia via England and Mesopotamia - all under the shadow of the imminent, and soon to be very real, Second World War. Narrated in a clear, poetic voice, it is a portrayal of the different journeys we choose to take through life and what happens when ordinary people get caught up in extraordinary, seismic events.

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Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant

by Anne Tyler

About the book:  Through every family run memories which bind it together – despite everything. The Tulls of Baltimore are no exception. Abandoned by her salesman husband, Pearl is left to bring up her three children alone – Cody, a flawed devil, Ezra, a flawed saint, and Jenny, errant and passionate. Now, as Pearl lies dying, stiffly encased in her pride and solitude, the past is unlocked and with it its secrets. OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD ‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor ‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty ‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan ‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve ‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby ‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks ‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike ‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner ‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

About the book:  'It isn't running away they're afraid of. We wouldn't get far. It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge' Offred is a Handmaid. She has only one function: to breed. If she refuses to play her part she will, like all dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. She may walk daily to the market and utter demure words to other Handmaid's, but her role is fixed, her freedom a forgotten concept. Offred remembers her old life - love, family, a job, access to the news. It has all been taken away. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire. Includes exclusive content: In The 'Backstory' you can read Margaret Atwood's account of how she came to write this landmark dystopian novel 'Compulsively readable' Daily Telegraph

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The Mint Lawn

by Gillian Mears

About the book:  Winner of the 1990 Australian/Vogel Award, GIllian Meares' debut novel is set on the north coast of New South Wales and tells the story of the varied relationships and personal growth of a 25-year-old woman in a rural community.

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Salvage the Bones

by Jesmyn Ward

About the book:  WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2011

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Monkey Grip

by Helen Garner

About the book:  In ''Monkey Grip'', Helen Garner charts the lives of a generation. Her characters are exploring new ways of loving and living - and nothing is harder than learning to love lightly. Nora and Javo are trapped in a desperate relationship. Nora's addiction is romantic love; Javo's is hard drugs. The harder they pull away, the tighter the monkey grip. A lyrical, gritty, rough-edged novel that deserves its place as a classic of Australian fiction

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Moth Smoke

by Mohsin Hamid

About the book:  Moth Smoke is the first novel by Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist 'You know you're in trouble when you can't meet a woman's eye, particularly if the woman happens to be your best friend's wife.' In Lahore, Daru Shezad is a junior banker with a hashish habit. When his old friend Ozi moves back to Pakistan, Daru wants to be happy for him. Ozi has everything: a beautiful wife and child, an expensive foreign education - and a corrupt father who bankrolls his lavish lifestyle. As jealousy sets in, Daru's life slowly unravels. He loses his job. Starts lacing his joints with heroin. Becomes involved with a criminally-minded rickshaw driver. And falls in love with Ozi's lonely wife. But how low can Daru sink? Is he guilty of the crime he finds himself on trial for? 'A vivid portrait of contemporary young Pakistani life, where frustration and insecurity feed not only the snobbery, decadence and aspirations of the rich, but also the resentment of the poor'The Times 'Fast-paced, intelligent . . . pulls us, despite ourselves, into its spiralling wake'New Yorker 'A subtly audacious . . .prodigious descendant of hard-boiled lit and film noir. A steamy and often darkly amusing book about sex, drugs, and class warfare in postcolonial Asia' Village Voice 'Stunning, a hip page-turner' Los Angeles Times 'Sharply observed, powerful, evocative' Financial Times 'A novel of remarkable wit, poise, profundity, and strangeness. A treat'Esquire Mohsin Hamid is the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moth Smoke and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, received numerous awards, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has contributed essays and short stories to publications such as the Guardian, The New York Times, Financial Times, Granta, and Paris Review. Born and mostly raised in Lahore, he spent part of his childhood in California, studied at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and has since lived between Lahore, London, and New York.

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