What kind of mother abandons her child? The phrase has something biblical about it and could be uttered by almost anyone at any time in history including our own, where motherhood has acquired a political nuance. And yet, every day everywhere there are women who decide not to raise their children for economic reasons, because they don’t fit with their legitimate personal ambition, or because they believe the children will be better off at arm’s length.
Led by personal interest –you can’t possibly be very feminist, or even very empathetic if you can’t understand this phenomenon– Begoña Gómez Urzaiz investigates maternal abandonment in this, her first book. She also discusses women who left their children at some point in their lives and what this meant for them: real figures such as Muriel Spark, Doris Lessing, Ingrid Bergman, Maria Montessori, Gala Dalí, and Mercè Rodoreda, as well as fictional characters such as Anna Karenina or Patricia Highsmith's Carol, of whom surely someone would at some point say: what kind of mother abandons her child?
This revelatory, dazzling, hybrid personal essay will interest readers of recent novels that address taboos of motherhood --with reflective, creative, and sometimes guilty approaches—such as those of Brenda Navarro and Katixa Aguirre, but also fans of contemporary essayists such as Olivia Laing and Leslie Jamison.