November/December Book Club: Motherish

Bring Motherish and Laura Rock Gaughan to your book club.

Our November/December Book Club feature is Motherish by Laura Rock Gaughan.

The stories in Laura Rock Gaughan’s Motherish are full of life. Characters leap off the page, sharing their faults and dreams, their ruinous rage, and illuminating joy. The demands of ordinary tasks are met by the surprise of art and invention. These stories are a delight to read.

—Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner and The Juliet Stories

Laura Rock Gaughan credRebekah Littlejohn 1000px 0x280Watch this page to enjoy book club specific content, interviews, a Q&A and more.

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Check out Laura's 2 cents on writing fiction here:

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Craft Literary

  • Book Club Questions
    1. After reading “Good-Enough Mothers,” what do you think it means to be a ‘good enough’ mother?
    2. A ‘maquiladora’ refers to factories in Mexico that export what they produce. Why do you think the author chose to title this chapter “Maquila Bird”? Do you think there is anything ‘motherish’ about the secret labels Maru sews onto some of the garments she makes?
    3. In “Transit,” the heavily-pregnant narrator is very much ‘in transition’ to motherhood. What transitions are expected of women who become mothers? How do the narrator’s actions fit into these expectations?
    4. In what way do characterizations of ‘fatherhood’ reflect upon the nature of motherhood in the story “Let Heaven Rejoice”?
    5. In “At the Track,” the narrator’s adult is life is strongly impacted by the experiences she had with her grandparents at the horse racing track. Is there a particular brand of ‘mothering’ that is expected of grandparents? In what ways does this story rewrite them?
    6. In “The Winnings,” the narrator’s fiancé works at a cardboard plant. What are the other ‘boxes’ the narrator is faced with inhabiting? What do you think makes it difficult to break free from them?
    7. What are the different versions of motherhood presented in “Me and Robin,” “Masters Swim,” and “The New Kitten”?
    8. In “Leaping Clear,” womanhood could be considered the driving theme, rather than motherhood. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
    9. In “Woman Cubed,” is Dale’s secret admirer actually a man, or something else? Why is his intervention important for Dale? What is the significance of the name he gives her, La Reine Anguille, or the Queen Eel?
    10. After reading “Mother Makeover,” do you feel there is an inherently competitive element to motherhood? Explain.
    11. In “A Flock of Chickens,” Rae-Ann has a motherly role as a teacher; however she is also a woman with sexual desire, as she enters into a relationship with her colleague, Rick. After reading the story, do you think it communicates anything about the societal expectations forced on sexually-active women who are mothers? Why do you think the chicken coop is a place of refuge for Rae-Ann?
    12. Which short story did you like best? Why?
    13. Which short story did you like least? Why?

Also from now until December 31, sign your book club up to receive our Book Club e-mailing list and be entered for a chance to win an exclusive visit with Laura to chat about her new book in the new year.* We also know how important it is to have some food along with your favourite beverages so count us in to to send along a gift card** for some snacks from a nearby retailer and six copies of Motherish to get you up to speed to meet with Laura. 

*remote visit via Skype or other mutually-agreed-upon platform. Date for the visit to be determined based upon the author's and the book club's schedules. **Snack gift card value $25.00 from a major grocer retailing in the winner's area.

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