In advance of Mother’s and and Father’s Day (May 10 and June 21 respectively) I am putting together a catalog of the best representations of Childhood, Motherhood, and Fatherhood in literature.
There is a long list of great childhood memoirs, many of which pivot around either a mother or a father. So far I’ve got:
An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War that Came Between Us by James Carroll
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
The Color of Water by James McBride
Growing Up by Russell Baker
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
When it comes to fiction, many books involve mothers and fathers, but fewer are specifically focused on themes of what it is to be a mom or a dad. Some of the titles below are specifically about the parent-child relationship, while for others the connection is there, but it’s more of a stretch.
About mothers, sons and daughters:
About fathers, daughters and sons:
A Death in the Family by James Agee
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Independence Day by Richard Ford
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (perusing blogs and discussion groups, Atticus Finch might be the most beloved literary father of them all)
King Lear by Shakespeare
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
The Risk Pool by Richard Russo
Washington Square by Henry James
I’ll send out the complete list once it’s compiled. Any suggestions welcome!