“By turns joyously heartwarming and plaintively forlorn, a dynamic cast of essayists--Kiese Laymon and Leslie Jamison among them--riff on the women who are "our first homes" and the lies that "make fools of the people we love."—O, The Oprah Magazine

“These essays, each one exceptional on its own, encompass both love and writing at their most vulnerable, and could power entire cities with their electricity.”—Booklist, starred review

"Fifteen essayists—many luminaries—write unflinchingly about their mothers...Each one of these intimate and gut-wrenching essays reaches beyond itself to forge connections with readers."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The essays all address the authors' relationships with their mothers in stories to be savored but not necessarily read in one sitting. …beautifully composed."—Library Journal, starred review

"Each essay is a complete experience in itself, with its own arc and epiphany...Filgate has done a magnificent job of gathering pieces written with love and passion."—Los Angeles Review of Books

"While each essay is its own beast, containing its own wild, wonderful, woeful, willful or warring mother figure, the collection as a whole holds together precisely because there is something recognizable in each and every piece."—Los Angeles Times

“These are the hardest stories in the world to tell, but they are told with absolute grace. You will devour these beautifully written—and very important— tales of honesty, pain, and resilience.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and City of Girls

“This collection of storytelling constellated around mothers and silence will break your heart and then gently give it back to you stitched together with what we carry in our bodies our whole lives. Mother is a real place where narratives are generated and negated endlessly. This book hums a body—sometimes to home, sometimes to leaving—both saving our lives.”—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan and The Chronology of Water

“Fifteen literary luminaries, including Filgate herself, probe how silence is never even remotely golden until it is mined for the haunting truths that lie within our most primal relationships—with our mothers. Unsettling, brave, sometimes hilarious and sometimes scorching enough to wreck your heart, these essays, about love or the terrifying lack of it, don’t just smash the silence; they let the light in, bearing witness with grace, understanding and writing so gorgeous you’ll be memorizing lines.”—Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

“I will confess, right from the start: I called my mom the minute I finished this book and urged her to read it so we might share a language of grief and reconciliation. This is a rare collection that has the power to break silences and bring people together. Each of these fifteen heavyweight writers harmonize to offer a truly profound argument for why words matter, and why unspoken words may matter even more. I am in awe of the talent Filgate has assembled here. When we look back at this century’s literary legacy, many of these names will surely be canon, and this collection will offer a rare glimpse into their early childhoods.”—Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased

“By turns raw, tender, bold, and wise, the essays in this anthology explore writers’ relationships with their mothers. Kudos to Michele Filgate for this riveting contribution to a vital conversation.”—Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl

“Who better to discuss one of our greatest shared surrealities—that we are all, once and forever, for better or worse, someone’s child—than this murderer’s row of writers? The mothers in this collection are terrible, wonderful, flawed, human, tragic, triumphant, complex, simple, baffling, supportive, deranged, heartbreaking, and heartbroken. Sometimes all at once. I’ll be thinking about this book, and stewing over it, and teaching from it, for a long time.”—Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers