Anna, Anne, Elizabeth Ann, Jennifer Ann. The only female to female descendant of a matriarch who lived to 106 and passed away shortly after the birth of my first child, mothering has not come naturally to me. With strained relationships going back at least four generations, not to mention the countless like it beyond my family line, I could hardly hope to think I would escape a contentious relationship with the role.
In my previous work, Feminine, I explored the unspoken rules of femininity inherent to my family of origin. With the birth of my second child, a daughter and the 5th female descendant, the natural progression was to follow with the unspoken rules of motherhood. However, in contrast to my previous work, A Madonna in Redux explores the rules of motherhood beyond my lineage. By photographing mothers and their children, from diverse ethnicities, economic backgrounds, geographical locations, sexualities, gender identities, and religious affiliations. I reflect on the common threads uniting mothers as well as the perspectives that wound and alienate.
Laura Goode is the author of the novel SISTER MISCHIEF (Candlewick Press, 2011), and the collection of poems BECOME A NAME (Fathom Books, 2016); she co-wrote and produced the feature film FARAH GOES BANG, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and won the inaugural Nora Ephron Prize from Tribeca and Vogue. Her essays have appeared widely in publications including BuzzFeed, Refinery29, ELLE, Glamour, The Cut, and Catapult, and her nonfiction work has received funding support from the Steinbeck Fellowship at San José State University and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference at Middlebury College. She received her BA and MFA from Columbia University, teaches in the English and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies departments at Stanford University, and was recently appointed the new director of Stanford's Humanities Public Writing Project.
Crystal Schubert is a YA fiction writer based in Richmond, VA. Her short story "The Aviary" was published in the anthology Beware the Little White Rabbit out from Leap Books, and her other short works can be found in YARN, wicked alice, and more.
Amy Shearn is the author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn, How Far is the Ocean From Here, and the forthcoming Unseen City, which will be published by Red Hen Press in the fall of 2020. She is New York fiction editor at Joyland Magazine, and teaches creative writing at Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Parents, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. She has received support from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and Space on Ryder Farm's Family Residency. Amy lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two whimsical, hilarious, and time-consuming children.