Dr. Tracy Nichols
Associate Professor of Public Health Education
Of Woman Born:
Motherhood as Experience and Institution
by Adrienne Rich
I was not prepared for this book when I first read it in my early twenties. When I picked the book up I was not expecting to finish it. I was not yet a mother and did not believe I would find much in it that was relevant to my life. I was very wrong. I swallowed the book whole. While I had read a fair amount of critical feminist literature by that time, I had never encountered a text that so eloquently interspersed personal narrative with historical and literary analysis. My eyes were opened to motherhood as an institution and, several years later when I became a mother, they were opened again to how that institution affected my experience of mothering and my position in the world. However it took many more years for me to realize the ultimate influence of this book on my life and my work as a scholar.