An anthology of memoirs. 39 Vancouver actresses write the story of their mothers’ lives – just the facts, ma’am – from beginning to end. These mothers come from around the world, with birthdates ranging from 1890 to 1954. Gathered together, these stories are a record of 20th century women’s history, sketches of how women really lived. Written with disarming candor, these first hand accounts reveal the micro-history of women living through wars, poverty, prosperity, mental illness, addiction, artistic achievement, adoption, arranged marriage, infidelity, and the everyday trials and joys of women… everywhere. Mothership Stories Society, a not for profit publisher, was founded in 2008 with the mandate to encourage the writing, collecting, and performing of stories written by daughters and sons about their mothers. This is the first book of the My Mother’s Story series, part of a campaign that asks people around the world to record and share the story of their mothers’ lives. The stories collected for the project have inspired and/or fueled the development of an online archive, writing workshops, books, radio and film documentaries, a form of theatre and – our hope – an entire social movement. www.mymothersstory.org telling women’s history… one mother at a time.
How have 20th century women really lived? My Mother’s Story asks people to write the story of their mothers’ lives from beginning to end, without embellishment, telling “just the facts ma’am”. The 41 stories collected here were submitted for inclusion in a professional theatre production in Vancouver, Canada. Against the backdrop of headline news, they tell stories of wealth, poverty, abuse, adoption, arranged marriages, heartache and joy in countries all over the world, their common thread being a daughter who now lives in North Vancouver. Second in a series on the extraordinary lives of ordinary women
In 2004 Marilyn Norry sent a challenge to women actors in Vancouver Canada: write the facts of your mother’s life, just the facts, from beginning to end.
It was the start of My Mother’s Story, now a worldwide campaign to empower both women and men to see their mothers as women in their times — accomplishing goals, witnessing history, surviving as well as they could. These are the extraordinary stories of ordinary women that tell the truth of how women of the 20th century truly lived. Writing about your mother in this way contributes to a collective history where women are seen as well as heard.
This guide takes you through the process of writing the story of your mother’s life, answering questions and posing more. It’s a workbook, a writing exercise, a history lesson, a meditation journal, a project, a challenge, a manifesto, a call to action, an archive. It’s the start of many meaningful conversations; an empathy builder, a community healer, a voice builder, a shame shatterer.
By reflecting on family history and answering questions, your writing will shed light on the past but also expose and perhaps dissolve some of the assumptions you hold about your mother, your writing, and what you believe is your place in the world. It will prepare you for conversations on what roles and rules will benefit the human race in the future.
Finished mother stories are posted in our Archive (www.mymothersstory.org) where they are saved for present reading and future generations. If you wish you can post your mother’s story there as well.
Purchase it today!
Amazon.com (approx US$20)
Amazon.ca or Chapters Indigo (approx CAD$24)
BizBooks (Use Promo Code ‘HERSTORY’ – CAD$20)