Author: Anne Richardson Roiphe

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Fruitful: A Real Mother in the Modern World

Anne Richardson Roiphe

In Fruitful, Roiphe tells the intimate, turbulent, compelling story of raising her own children in the gap between motherhood and feminism—and makes an eloquent plea for a new agenda. Roiphe’s life is a perfect microcosm of change in the American family over the past thirty years. Married and a mother in her early twenties, she soon became a divorced single parent, raising her young daughter on her own. Remarriage and new motherhood brought great joy but also the complications of combining families and raising stepchildren. With heartbreaking candor, she details the difficult adaptations and painful rebellions that haunt a parent’s conscience. Through it all, Roiphe keenly felt feminism’s discomfort with the question of motherhood. Allowing the conservative right to co-opt the issue of family, feminism has sometimes overlooked the very real emotional and economic needs of mother just trying to make it through the day. Here, Roiphe crafts a unique pro-feminist/pro-family position that calls for fruitful dialogue on quality childcare, on including men as full partners in parenting, on defining family in ways that allow everyone to thrive.

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