by Ceridwen Dovey & Eliza Bell
A genre-defying, collaborative marvel that brings the absurdity of motherhood to the page.
After sharing their artistic frustrations at the school gate, two women decide to take a risk: to co-write a book about early motherhood. Off-colour, offbeat, off their heads, they begin – but then, what is motherhood if not messy, non-linear, multi-authored and potty mouthed?
Together they gather scenes and songs, poems and text messages, insights and ephemera, alive to both the playfulness and the danger of co-creation. From the salvaged scraps of their daily lives they make an intimate collage of absurd mothering, failing mothering and moving mothering, imagining themselves into a future where women don’t always have to choose between art and motherhood.
After all: these mothers are tired. They are busy. They are lucky. They talk. Perform. Categorise. Clown. They do sad dinner cabaret. They do heroic odyssey. They do motherhood the musical. No bells and whistles, no false cheer. They do it badly, they do it well, they do it and they do it, and they keep on doing it as women do: comically, communally, creatively.
Funny, thoughtful, vulnerable and disturbingly familiar, Mothertongues up-ends ideas of genre and speaks motherhood anew.
Page Count: 400 Pages
Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
Published: April 2022