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Grandmothers: Essays by 21st-century Grandmothers

An anthology of essays by twenty-four Australian women, edited by Helen Elliott, about the many aspects of being a grandmother in the 21st century. It seems so different from the experience we had of our grandmothers. Although perhaps the human essential, love, hasn't shifted much? In thoughtful, provoking, uncompromising writing, a broad range of women reflect on vastly diverse experiences. This period of a woman's life, a continuation and culmination, is as defining as any other and the words 'grand' and 'mother' rearrange and realign themselves into bright focus.

The contributors- Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer, Judith Brett, Jane Caro, Elizabeth Cheung, Cresside Collette, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Helen Garner, Anastasia Gonis, Glenda Guest, Katherine Hattam, Celestine Hitiura Vaite, Yvette Holt, Cheryl Kernot, Ramona Koval, Alison Lester, Joan London, Jenny Macklin, Auntie Daphnie Milward, Mona Mobarek, Carol Raye and Gillian Triggs.
RRP $34.99
Learn more Available on orders $80 to $2,000.
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: Grandmothers: Essays by 21st-century Grandmothers
  • Author: Helen Elliott
  • Publisher: The Text Publishing Company
  • ISBN: 9781922268600

RATINGS & REVIEW

24/03/2020 4:34:19 PM - Marianne
funny, moving and inspirational collection
4.5★s Grandmothers is a compilation of essays by 21st Century grandmothers. They muse on being grandmothers, share many anecdotes about grandchildren and memories of their own grandmothers. Editor Helen Elliott previews aspects of what the twenty-two contributors, from all walks of life, write about. Helen Garner shares snippets that illustrate the part that three grandchildren play in her life. Ali Cobby Eckermann offers beautiful verse and the perspective of a stolen generation child and grandmother. Jane Caro tells us a grandmother’s love is blind and that grandchildren represent our only chance at immortality. Auntie Daphne Milward is grandmother to many as she passes on the knowledge of traditional owners to schoolkids and teachers, and describes how Aboriginal children are endowed with many grandmothers. Glenda Guest describes the challenge of forging a connection to an only grandchild over limited contact. Elizabeth Chong is one of twenty-three grandchildren and grandmother of five, and notes the difference between contemporary and traditional Chinese grandmothering. Alison Lester describes the emotional intensity that grandchildren bring. Gillian Triggs reflects on how much more likely it is that a contemporary grandmother will be a (much needed) activist, than her own grandmother, given their better health and greater freedom and autonomy. Maggie Beer is ever grateful to her paternal grandmother who showed her no affection, but certainly passed on to her the cooking gene that still runs in the family, through to her own grandchildren. Ramona Koval wonders about the traditions no longer being passed on by grandmothers, and worries about the environmental legacy we are leaving for our grandchildren. Yvette Holt is a grandmother of three who sorely misses them every moment they’re apart, tells of the great grandmother whose strength prevented three motherless children from being separated. Judith Brett shares fond memories of times at her grandmother’s farm, and her gifts of unconditional love and an interest in lived history which she now tries to foster in her own grandchildren. Jenny Macklin on the hardiness of two grandmothers born in the 19th Century whom she never got to know, and grandmothers who inspired action for social change during her political career. Cresside Collette was effectively raise by her loving, nurturing and fiercely disciplinarian grandmother in Ceylon and later Australia, and hopes to teach her grandchildren the love of embroidering fostered by this amazing woman. Celestine Hitiura Vaite shares the joy of learning one’s children are about to become parents, and having extended family close by. Anastasia Gonis quietly shelves her ambition for a writer’s retreat in the White House in Greece, planning to be an onlooker in her grandchild’s life - until he arrives. She concludes that a grandmother makes a necessary and valuable contribution to family. Katherine Hattam reflects on being a grandmother at a remove in this age of technology, and achieving a work/family balance. Carol Raye concludes the contribution of grandparents to family life, while not a necessity, is certainly an asset. Cheryl Kernot describes twenty-first Century intergenerational living. Mona Mobarek confirms the old Egyptian saying that “The dearest child is the child of your child”, and adds that your grandchild is your child twice over. Stephanie Alexander describes aspects of being a later-in-life grandmother. And Joan London concludes “Perhaps it is one of the functions of a grandparent, to remind children of the ages of man. For them, we are the frontline representatives of what it means to be old. And, more than likely, in the future, it will be us who will furnish our grandchildren with their first experience of death.” There is plenty of joy and laughter, mixed with some sadness and regret and, as you would expect from grandmothers, many wise words. Common to most is the observation that now, having more time, patience and energy that when they were mothers, they’re much better at grandmothering. The length of the essays makes this a perfect compilation to be read in small doses, and this funny, moving and inspirational collection will appeal especially to readers with grandchildren. This unbiased review is from a copy provided by Text Publishing
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