Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Dangerous Ideas about Mothers' edited by Camilla Nelson and Rachel Robertson

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Dangerous Ideas about Mothers' edited by Camilla Nelson and Rachel Robertson

Dangerous Ideas about Mothers

edited by Camilla Nelson and Rachel Robertson

UWA Publishing, $29.99 pb, 246 pp, 9781742589909

An essay at the heart of this collection, ‘Against Motherhood Memoirs’ by Maria Tumarkin, is not as insistent as its title suggests. Tumarkin, interested in ‘fissures and de-fusion’, troubles the awkward spots in her analysis. While reading Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015) – which places ‘motherhood and queerness side by side’ with autotheory and what Nelson calls ‘post-shame’ autobiographical writing – Tumarkin describes being ‘beside herself’ with exhilaration.

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Felicity Plunkett

Felicity Plunkett

Felicity Plunkett is a poet and critic. Her first collection of poetry Vanishing Point (UQP, 2009) won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize and was shortlisted for several other awards. She has a chapbook Seastrands (2011) in Vagabond Press’ Rare Objects series. Her new collection A Kinder Sea is forthcoming. Felicity was Poetry Editor for University of Queensland Press and edited Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011). She has a PhD from the University of Sydney and her reviews and essays have been widely published in The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Book Review, Sydney Review of Books etc. Her essay ‘Sound Bridge’, a portrait of Indigenous Australian musician Dr G. Yunupingu, was first published in Australian Book Review and anthologised in Best Australian Essays 2015 (Black Inc, ed. Geordie Williamson).

Published in December 2018, no. 407

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