The experience of motherhood is monumental, yet rarely discussed in connection with literary or creative life. How do we navigate the twin devotions of love and art? How does motherhood disrupt the creative process? How does it enhance it?
Good Mom on Paper is a collection of twenty essays that goes beyond the clichés to explore the fraught, beautiful, and complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity. These texts disclose the often-invisible challenges of a literary life with little ones: the manuscript written with a baby sleeping in a carrier, missing a book launch for a bedtime, crafting a promotional tour around child care. But they also celebrate the systems that nurture writers who are mothers; the successes; the intricate, interconnected joys of these roles.
Honest and intimate, critical and hopeful, this collection offers solace and joy to creative mothers and asks how we can better support their work. Mothers have long been telling each other these vital stories in private. Good Mom on Paper makes them available to everyone who needs them.
With contributions by Heather O’Neill, Lee Maracle, Jael Richardson, Carrie Snyder, Alison Pick, Meaghan Strimas, Sofia Mostaghimi, Rachel Giese, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Erin Wunker, Jónína Kirton, Jennifer Whiteford, Teresa Wong, Nikkya Hargrove, S. Lesley Buxton, Amber Riaz, Adelle Purdham, Harriet Alida Lye, and Kellee Ngan.
A portion of each sale will be donated to the Mothers Matter Centre: a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering isolated, at-risk mothers.
2022 Spring Preview Nonfiction Selection —Quill & Quire
39 works of Canadian nonfiction to watch for in spring 2022 —CBC Books
Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2022 Nonfiction Preview —49th Shelf
Spring books preview: 40 books to help you shake the winter blahs —The Globe and Mail
Spring books: Nine titles by BC authors to devour during the season’s brighter days —Gail Johnson, Stir
“Reader, I fist-pumped. In essay after essay – and I savoured every one; they are so beautifully written – mothers offer glimpses into their processes, their challenges, their grief. Their lives.” —Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail
40 Canadian books coming out in May we can’t wait to read —CBC Books
Screaming and Watercolours: I Turned My Toddler’s Tantrums into Art —Teresa Wong, The Walrus
Book Therapy: Good Mom on Paper —Open Book
Editors’ Picks for May 2022 —49th Shelf
Good Mom on Paper: Interview with Jen Sookfong Lee —CBC Radio, On the Coast with Gloria Macarenko
“Referencing strong female writers, both past and present — Virginia Woolf, Anne Carson, Alice Walker, Sylvia Plath, Claudia Dey — each writer shares their experience, strength and hope and invites all women, not just moms and writers, to ‘challenge traditional forms of styles of cultural enquiry.'” —Elizabeth Mitchell, Toronto Star
Independently Published Bestsellers List: April 2022 —The Hamilton Review of Books
Good Mom on Paper: Interview with Jen Sookfong Lee —CBC Radio, The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers
Good Mom on Paper: An Interview with Stacey May Fowles, Jen Sookfong Lee, and Teresa Wong —Episode 17 of The Deep Dive
45 cool books to read while the weather heats up —CBC Books
“This collection denounces the commonly held belief that motherhood and writing are in contradiction to one another– its existence alone is proof enough.” —Joanne Gallant, The Miramichi Reader
“Some of the essays broke my heart. Some of them made me smile. Some of them gave me hope that there is a way to forge a path in this space.” —Christa Sampson, Cloud Lake Literary
“Good Mom on Paper manages to find humour in . . . mundane annoyances, and, as with parenting, the comic relief is rare but well worth waiting for.” —Rosemary Counter, The Literary Review of Canada
Best Bets: For Fantastic Nonfiction —All Lit Up
Our Favourite Book Covers of 2022 —Hamilton Review of Books
“As a mom to two little ones, I relate to much of what the authors share: the constant competition for my time, energy, body, and attention, as well as the quest for a balance between my responsibilities that often leaves me feeling guilty and anxious. Reading this text reassured me, again, that there’s no such thing as the perfect mother.” —Ayesha Mian Akram, Herizons Magazine
Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning journalist, essayist, and author of four books. Her bylines include the Globe and Mail, The National Post, Reader’s Digest, Elle Canada, Toronto Life, The Walrus, BuzzFeed, Vice, Hazlitt, Quill and Quire, and others. Her most recent book, Baseball Life Advice, was published in spring 2017, was a national bestseller, and was selected by the Globe and Mail and Maisonneuve as a best book of the year. A former columnist at the Globe and Mail, she currently writes the Book Therapy column for Open Book Ontario. Fowles lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter, where she is working on a children’s book and her fourth novel.
Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award; The End of East; The Shadow List; and Finding Home. Superfan, a memoir of her life with pop culture, will be published in January 2023. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast Can’t Lit.