Reading List

6 books on motherhood


This Mother’s Day, give the gift of acknowledging the massive amount of essential unpaid labour women do in the home and fight for a better world.

“The work of caring for people is an essential but disavowed and devalued aspect of capitalist societies. Without the labour of ensuring that most people feel well enough to keep going to work, capitalism could not function.”

They Call It Love investigates the work that makes a haven in a heartless world, examining who performs this labour, how it is organised, and how it might change.

“Is it that I don’t take Mum’s suffering seriously, but only my own? We are closest to our own suffering. But I suspect that mine is deeply linked to hers, which was so secret, I’ve always had a strong sense of it.”

A darkly insightful examination of mother-daughter relationships that captivates with the suspense of a thriller.

“Worldwide, mothers (but not fathers) experience income loss as a result of having children, and the lack of affordable childcare is often a reason why mothers are not engaged in paid employment.”

Emma Dowling charts the multifaceted nature of care in the modern world, from the mantras of self-care and what they tell us about our anxieties to the state of the social care system.

“We are not born to be mothers, and if we are, it is only a part of our life, one branch of the larger tree of which it is made.”

A fiery feminist manifesto from the Chilean performance collective who led the rallying cry for today's mass feminist movement across South America.

“Perhaps, when you were very young, you quietly noticed the oppressiveness of the function assigned to the mother in your home. You sensed her loneliness. You felt a twinge of solidarity. Children often “get” this better than most.”

What if we could do better than the family?

“We all have the capacity to care, not just mothers and not just women, and all our lives are improved when we care and are cared for, and when we care together.”

The Care Manifesto puts care at the heart of the debates of our current crisis: from intimate care — childcare, healthcare, elder care — to care for the natural world.